Mar 18, 2009

Tibet: Human Rights Council Discussion

Active ImageHuman Rights Council, meeting for its 10th session, discusses the human rights situation within Tibet.



Below is an article published by: Tibet Custom

The UN Human Rights Council currently in third-week of its 10th session in Geneva where numerous international NGOs raised issues concerning serious human rights violations taking place around the globe.

According to the agenda, this morning [16 March 2009] the Human Rights Council began its general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, addressing a wide range of issues including the importance of the prohibition of torture and the abolition of the death penalty; ways to end discrimination against women and children; and the need to protect cultural rights, among others.

In the afternoon [16 March 2009] during interactive dialogue, among other NGOs, Tenzin Samphel KAYTA on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples said “the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food stated that: “At a general level, human rights-based approaches to development cooperation recognize people “as key actors in their own development, rather than passive recipients of commodities and services”. All stakeholders should be involved in analysis and the programmes should focus on marginalized, disadvantaged, and excluded groups, and aim at reducing disparity.

He further said “ when a government implement resettlement programmes in the name of environmental protection the people involved have been required to slaughter most of their livestock and move into newly built housing colonies in or near towns, abandoning their traditional way of life while agricultural communities have had their land confiscated, with minimal compensation, or have been evicted to make way for mining, infrastructure projects or urban development.”

In conclusion, he said “the forced evictions of thousands of Tibetan nomads since 2003 is a dangerous strategy because their traditional livelihood system which is based on production of dried cheese, butter, yak meat and procurement of medicinal plants will now slowly be eliminated forever.”  

In her statement, Dekyi Dolkar on behalf of Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights said “we are concerned by circumstances when those committed “to promote and protect all human rights” engage in extra-judicial killings, mass detentions, to the extent that the sheer scale of those detentions means that names, locations and other data cannot be ascertained in any meaningful way as evident from interventions by Special Procedure mandate-holders in many cases. Such acts can occur under conditions that resemble de facto martial law, or the denial to independent assessment of the occurrence, nature and extent of violations committed.

She also said “when foreign journalists, tourists, diplomats and UN officials and experts are not officially welcomed to hide something from an entire region and these policies encourage government officials and security forces to act with impunity and without restraint to merciless repression.”

She said in conclusion that “we remain dismayed by the lack of progress by the Human Rights Council to address many chronic human right realities and situations, including now faced by the six million Tibetan people and the uncertain fate of 1000 individuals reported to have been detained or disappeared since the Tibetan Uprising of March 2008.”

In this ongoing session, Tibetan participants consist of representatives from Tibetan Centre for Human Rights, International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and Tibetan UN Advocacy. They have been meeting with UN officials, Government delegates and NGOs to brief on current deplorable human rights situation inside Tibet. A press conference was held last week [March 2009] in the UN where international journalists were briefed on present human rights situation in Tibet. The latest reports of ICT and annual report of the TCHRD were also distributed.

The session will go on till 27 March [2009].