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China: UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination calls for probe into Xinjiang rights violations – OHCHR

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24 November 2022
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GENEVA (24 November 2022)The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) today called on the Peoples’ Republic of China to immediately investigate all allegations of human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including those of torture, ill-treatment, sexual violence, forced labour, enforced disappearances and deaths in custody.
Acting under its early warning and urgent action procedure, the Committee also called on China to immediately release all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in the XUAR, whether in so-called Vocational Education and Training Centres (VETCs) or other detention facilities, and to provide relatives of those detained or disappeared with detailed information about their status and well-being.
The Committee further:
CERD’s early warning and urgent action procedureprimarily aims to consider situations which might lead to conflicts in order to take appropriate preventive actions to avoid full scale violations of human rights under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). A total of 182 States are party to ICERD. They are required to undergo regular reviews by the Committee of 18 independent international experts on how they are implementing the Convention.
In 2018, the Committee reviewed the periodic reports submitted by China and issued Concluding Observations in which it expressed a number of concerns, including about human rights violations of Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in the XUAR. As requested by the Committee, China submitted its follow-up report to those Concluding Observations in October 2019.
In 2022, due to the lack of improvement in the human rights situation in Xinjiang, the Committee decided to prepare and to adopt, at its current 108th session, a decision under its early warning and urgent action procedure.
ENDS
Renato Rosario de Souza at +41 (0) 22 928 9855 / renato.rosariodasouza@un.org or
UN Human Rights Office Media Section at +41 (0) 22 928 9855 / ohchr-media@un.org
Background
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination monitors States parties’ adherence to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which, to date has 182 States parties. The Committee is made up of 18 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.
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