EU Statement at the 49th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Item 4 – Human Rights situation that require the Council’s attention
21 March 2022
“As to the human rights situation in China, the EU reiterates its persistent and serious concerns about the existence of a large network of political re-education camps, widespread surveillance, systemic and severe restrictions on the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or belief, as well as about evidence-based reports relating to forced labour, forced sterilisation, birth control and family separation policies and sexual and gender-based violence. The EU urges China to abide by its obligations under national and international law to respect, protect and fulfil human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including Uighurs and persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities across China, especially in Xinjiang, Tibet and in Inner Mongolia. This includes fully respecting the principle of non-refoulement. The EU calls on China to take steps to an early ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as completing its ratification of ILO Forced Labour Convention No. 29 and its protocol and the ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention No. 105. The EU welcomes the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ announcement to present her findings on the human rights situation in Xinjiang and encourages the release of the report as soon as possible. The EU takes note of the high commissioner’s announcement of the preparation of her visit to China. Furthermore, the EU calls upon UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies, in particular the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to review the application of the core human rights treaties, including in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and in Tibet Autonomous Region. The intensified crackdown on human rights defenders, human rights lawyers, journalists, independent reporters, other media workers and intellectuals who continue to be exposed to harassment, intimidation and surveillance, including the practice of the Residential Surveillance in a Designated Location (RSDL), and subjected to unlawful detention, sentencing and enforced disappearance, and torture and ill-treatment, remains of equally serious concern. The EU urges China to ensure full respect for the rule of law, to investigate violations of human rights or international law, to guarantee procedural fairness and due process of law. The EU continues to closely monitor the situation and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of, among others, Chang Weiping, Chen Jianfang, Chen Yunfei, Cheng Yuan, Ding Jiaxi, Dorjee Tashi, Fang Bin, Gao Zhisheng, Guo Quan, Go Sherab Gyatso, Huang Qi, Huang Xueqin, Li Qiaochu, Li Yuhan, Liu Feiyue, Qin Yongmin, Qin Yongpei, Rinchen Tsultrim, Tang Jitian, Tiyip Tashpolat, Sakharov Prize laureate Ilham Tohti, Pastor Wang Yi, Wang Li, Wang Zang, Wu Gan, Wu Gejianxiong, Xu Zhiyong, Yang Maodong, and Zhang Zhan as well as the EU citizen Gui Minhai whose right to consular access must be respected.
Remarks: The above quote is from the full statement available on the EEAS website, but it was shortened when delivered.