Despite concerns about its human rights record, China secured its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council with 154 votes, marking its sixth election to the Council. China’s repeated membership raises questions about the effectiveness of the UN’s human rights system and the need for reform in the election process, emphasising the importance of implementing a performance appraisal system to prevent habitual human rights offenders from participating in Council elections. The international community is urged to take action to ensure that the Council’s goals are not compromised and to support human rights advocates in China.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) represented by the executive director Ms Tsering Tsomo and senior program officer Ms Tenzin Dawa attended working sessions of the 51st Human Rights Council session including plenary meetings, negotiations of resolutions, side events, delivering oral statements, participating in informal meetings with partner NGOs, and exploring advocacy initiatives at the UN in Geneva.
The government of People’s Republic of China (PRC) was criticised for human rights violations particularly in Tibet and Xinjiang by western countries at the ongoing 33rd Session of UN Human Rights Council under ‘Agenda Item 4: Human Rights Situation Requiring Council Attention’ this afternoon in Geneva. Germany expressed deep concern about “the human rights situation in China, in particular in Xinjiang and…
From 9-13 March, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) had a team of two researchers at regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). Mr. Tenzin Nyinjey and Mr. John Gaudette, two senior researchers of the TCHRD participated at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council in Geneva under the name of International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR). This is the second consecutive HRC regular session that TCHRD has sent a team to. At the previous session in September 2014, TCHRD’s Executive Director, Ms. Tsering Tsomo, raised the situation in Tibet.
This year the TCHRD team built upon the work from September 2014. TCHRD’s team met with assistants for the Special Rapporteurs on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the right to health, and the right to education. TCHRD also met with a representative from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). At all of these meetings TCHRD gave briefings on the situation in Tibet and provided digital and paper copies of TCHRD’s 2014 Annual Report and special reports on the right to health and the right to education. During the meetings the representatives of the Special Rapporteurs and the OHCHR said they would act on the situation in Tibet as permitted by the limits of their respective mandates. TCHRD also participated in a panel discussion with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief on Friday.
Today marks the 25th birthday of the XIth Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, one of the most important spiritual leaders of Tibet, who disappeared when he was 6 years old.[i] This is the 19th year in succession when Tibetans have to commemorate the birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima in his absence.
On 14 May 1995, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognised Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, a son of nomadic parents, as the reincarnate Panchen Lama. A day later, the boy and his parents were disappeared from their home in Lhari County in Nagchu Prefecture in Central Tibet.[ii] The Chinese government initially denied allegations that he had been disappeared by Chinese government agents. A few months after the disappearance, Chinese government appointed Gyaltsen Norbu as its own Panchen Lama.
On 7 February 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) released a report regarding the human rights situation in North Korea. The chief author of the report was Michael Kirby, a retired Judge of the High Court of Australia.
A Commission of Inquiry was created by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate “widespread and grave violations of human rights” in North Korea. To accomplish this, the Commission questioned 80 witnesses and experts in public hearings held in four countries. The Commission also conducted over 240 confidential interviews of witnesses and experts who feared reprisals against them or their family from North Korea. The Commission also requested submissions, reviewed previously published findings, and worked with States and international organizations.
Throughout the entire process and despite numerous invitations from the Commission, North Korea refused to cooperate with the Commission. North Korea refused to allow the Commission into their country and did not respond to invitations to participate in the research or drafting of the report.