12/11/2019

Universal Periodic Review: Hold China accountable for its failed Tibet promises

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book cover 01The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) today released a new report, Universal Periodic Review and China’s Human Rights Record in Tibet.  The report is available to the public and will be submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs for Civil and Political rights.   Universal Periodic Review and China’s Human Rights Record in Tibet is part of TCHRD’s lobbying effort leading up to China’s Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council on 22 October 2013.  TCHRD is calling for China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), one of the most important human rights treaties.

The release of Universal Periodic Review and China’s Human Rights Record in Tibet coincides with China’s submission of its national report on its human rights situation on 22 July.  In its report China will undoubtedly highlight economic development and other economic, social, cultural rights while ignoring civil and political rights as it did in its White Paper on Human Rights.  In the past China has treated human rights as divisible and focused on economic, social, and cultural rights to the exclusion of civil and political rights. 

Universal Periodic Review and China’s Human Rights Record in Tibet demonstrates that not only are human rights indivisible but also that all human rights in Tibet are regressing.  Universal Periodic Review and China’s Human Rights Record in Tibet focuses equally on religious and cultural repression, arbitrary detention, torture and unequal access to development.

China’s national report is part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, during which every United Nations member state reports on its own human rights record and during an interactive dialogue respond to criticisms and recommendations from other states. The goal of the UPR is to improve the human situation and address human rights violates everywhere.

During China’s last UPR in 2009 it promised to improve its human rights situation and ratify the ICCPR.  Universal Periodic Review and China’s Human Rights Record details how the human rights situation in Tibet has deteriorated. China’s strict policies that restrict religious and cultural freedom, permit arbitrary detention and torture, and deny Tibetans equal access contribute to the immense hardship and suffering of the Tibetan people. Since China’s 2009 UPR more than a hundred Tibetans from all walks of life have committed self-immolations in protests Chinese rule.

TCHRD is working to build international pressure on China to improve its human rights situation and specifically to ratify the ICCPR.  Universal Periodic Review and China’s Human Rights Record will be submitted to the relevant Special Rapporteurs at the UN.  TCHRD staff members will travel to the UN Human Rights Council before China’s second UPR on 22 October to draw attention to the human rights situation in Tibet and China’s failure to ratify the ICCPR.  China signed the ICCPR in 1998 and for 15 years has repeatedly pledged to work for an early ratification the ICCPR but has failed to do so. In contrast, China ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2001, less than four years after signing it.

You can read the full report here.