UHRP Welcomes UN Joint Statement on Uyghur Crisis, Awaits Release of High Commissioner Report

UN Statement Oct 2021 2

For immediate release
October 22, 2021 1:15pm EDT
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) is encouraged by joint action by UN member states in relation to human rights abuses against Uyghurs, and encourages the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to release findings on her office’s assessment.

“UN member states have just taken the next step towards accountability for the Chinese government’s brutal treatment of Uyghurs,” said UHRP Executive Director, Omer Kanat.

The joint statement from 43 UN Member States includes all five regional groups. The statement builds on concerns raised in the Third Committee in 2019 and 2020, reiterating alarm about the situation in East Turkistan, and calls for “immediate, meaningful and unfettered access” to the region for independent observers.

The statement is particularly meaningful in that it welcomes the High Commissioner’s ongoing assessment of the situation based on “available information on allegations of serious human rights violations” in the Uyghur Region, and encourages the findings to be made public “as soon as possible.” Michelle Bachelet announced in September that her office is finalizing its assessment of the situation “with a view to making it public.”

The statement also calls on countries to “respect the principle of non-refoulement,” given that Uyghurs are increasingly at risk of harassment and intimidation abroad.

Following the release of the High Commissioner’s assessment, UN Member States should immediately support a UN Commission of Inquiry within the Human Rights Council or General Assembly to elaborate on its findings and determine next steps for accountability.

Read more:

Civil society groups welcome action by UN human rights experts to address forced labour in Uyghur region, March 30, 2021

50 Genocide prevention organizations and experts call for UN Commission of Inquiry on crimes against humanity and genocide against Uyghurs, January 14, 2021

UHRP encourages UN, other governments to follow up on Canada’s historic Uyghur genocide vote, February 22, 2021

Uyghur organizations call on the ILO to denounce Uyghur forced labor, November 10, 2021

#VoteNoChina: 70 Uyghur organizations call governments to vote against China’s election to UN human rights body, October 7, 2020

China should not be appointing UN investigators while refusing cooperation with them, April 7, 2020