Sixty-six years ago, on 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a fundamental part of the international human rights system and, along with the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is part of the international bill of human rights. Since 1950, every people and countries across the world have commemorated 10 December as Human Rights Day.
‘Human Rights-365’ is the theme of Human Rights Day this year. ‘Human Rights-365’ recognizes that human rights must be protected and defended every day.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) joins individuals, organizations and governments throughout the world in commemorating Human Rights Day and emphasizing that the struggle for human rights involves real and hard battles every day. As part of the ‘Human Rights-365’ commemoration, on Friday 12 December, TCHRD will organize a panel discussion on the book ‘Resistance through cooperation with the Law’, by Di Lhaden, an underground Tibetan writer living inside Tibet to amplify the voices for freedom, and the enormous prices of imprisonment and torture Tibetan writers inside Tibet pay for their noble efforts. The book exposes “the tyrannical policies of the Chinese authorities in Tibet, all in violation of the principles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights law and the provisions of the Chinese constitution.”
The publication of Di Lhaden’s book draws attention to the persecution and intensified repression of Tibetans. In particular, Tibetan writers, singers, lyricists and intellectuals have been targeted for severe punishments and their works banned. Targeting people for expressing and sharing their opinions violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For exercising this right, Tibetan artists and intelligentsia are given prison sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years and tortured, in violations of, respectively, articles 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On Human Rights Day this year, TCHRD will release a Special Report on the Right to Education in Tibet which focuses on many issues surrounding the quality of education provided in Tibet and addresses instances where the Chinese government is not fulfilling its obligations under both international and national legislation. The report discusses arbitrarily applied education policies aimed at assimilating Tibetans into the Chinese majority instead of taking into account their actual educational needs. The use of Mandarin Chinese as the primary language of instruction and the Chinese government’s insistence on the use of boarding schools are examples of these policies.
TCHRD appeals for the support and solidarity of governments, NGOs, journalists, writers, and the global public for the Tibetan people’s struggle for their dignity and right to live as human beings. TCHRD hopes for more concerted and concrete support to the Tibetan human rights defenders who pay an enormous price for their non-violent articulation of Tibetan people’s quest for freedom, democracy and justice.
Click here to download a PDF copy of the Special Report on the Right to Education in Tibet