April 2, 2013

UNPO Report Highlights Severe Marginalization Faced By Tibetans, Uyghurs And Mongols In China

UNPO has submitted an Alternative Report to the UN Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ahead of the Pre-Sessional Working Group Session on China in May 2013. The report underlines the severe marginalization of three ethnic minority communities – Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region, Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Mongols in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region - caused mainly by social and political discrimination and exclusion. Under the guise of ‘development’ and ‘security’, the Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongolians have become victims of forced evictions from their ancestral lands, and suffered from the destruction of their houses, severe impoverishment, as well as lack of access to healthcare, education and work.

These factors are exacerbated by the government’s policy of failing to acknowledge Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongols as the distinct ethnic groups who have distinct challenges, the solutions to which are also distinct. Any actions that challenge the regime’s legitimacy have been met with retribution. Furthermore, these UNPO Members are largely sidelined from or face challenges to participating in local decision-making procedures. In addition, they have been dispossessed of their land and have been offered little or no compensation, which has resulted in series of peaceful protests in all minority regions. 

The report makes a series of recommendations which are to be presented during the 51st Pre-Sessional Working Group. Amongst them, UNPO urges the PRC to consider the following:

-Provide meaningful autonomy in the ethnic autonomous regions of the PRC, including
through amendments to the autonomy laws;

-Take fully into account the views and preferences and include ethnic minority communities
into decision‐making process with regard to activities affecting their traditional way of life,
including by obtaining free, prior and informed consent before launching projects that have a
disproportionate impact on their traditional livelihoods;

- End non‐voluntary resettlement of nomadic herders and ensure that any relocation is
conducted consistently with international human rights law;

-Engage in the consultations with the members of minority groups in order to assess the
impact of past and current policies affecting their communities;

-Take the necessary steps to guarantee that economic and social development is translated
into political, economic and social improvement for minorities;

The full report can be downloaded here

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