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China: Uighurs

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL6547, tabled on 7 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 6 July (HL6103), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, 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

20 July 2020

We are aware of reports that the Chinese Government is using forced sterilisation to minimise Uyghur birth rates. As the Minister for Asia set out during an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on 29 June, these reports add to our concern about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and we are considering them carefully. On 9 March the Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi. On 30 June, the UK read out a statement on behalf of 28 countries at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighting concerns about arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance and restrictions in Xinjiang.