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China: Uighurs

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL6103, tabled on 24 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the decline in birth-rates among the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s ethnic minority communities may indicate the promotion of a coercive birth-prevention strategy targeted at ethnoreligious minority groups; and whether any such targeted coercive policy would require the UK Government to consider their obligations, as a signatory to the 1948 Convention on the Crime of Genocide, to prevent, protect, and hold to account perpetrators.

Answered on

6 July 2020

We are aware of these reports. We continue to call on China to allow the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights unfettered access to the region to better understand the situation. I did so publicly during the UK's national statement at the Human Rights Council on 25 February.

More broadly, we are seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang including the extra-judicial detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in "political re-education camps", systematic restrictions on Uyghur culture and the practice of Islam, and extensive and invasive surveillance targeting minorities. On 10 March at the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UK raised concerns about systematic human rights violations and reports of forced labour in Xinjiang during our 'Item 4' statement.