The International Campaign for Tibet welcomes a statement by the German government made this week in the German parliament, the Bundestag, calling for closing of coercive boarding schools for Tibetan children and an end to forced resettlement in Tibet. The government, during a session of the parliament’s Human Rights Committee, expressed its concern about the “increasingly deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet” and stated that “as part of their policy of assimilation directed against the Tibetan language, culture and religion, the Chinese authorities systematically violated human rights.”
The statement comes after the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights had adopted recommendations following its review of China this February which called for an immediate end to the residential school system in Tibet and to forced resettlements.
The International Campaign for Tibet urges the international community to follow the recommendations of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and to urge the Chinese government to comply with its obligations according to international law, specifically in Tibet.
Translation of the German Parliament report from the German language original by the International Campaign for Tibet
Berlin: (hib/SAS) The federal government is concerned about the increasingly deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet. The UN Social Committee’s call for an end to compulsory boarding schools for Tibetan children and forced settlements of Tibetan nomads is expressly supported, a representative of the Federal Foreign Office said on Wednesday during the meeting of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid.
As part of their policy of assimilation directed against the Tibetan language, culture and religion, the Chinese authorities systematically violated human rights. The methods included re-education campaigns, arbitrary detentions and a comprehensive program of forced resettlement, the official from the Federal Foreign Office said. Around two million people with a nomadic lifestyle are affected. Part of the broader assault on Tibetan identity is a system of coercive boarding schools for Tibetan children.
School shutdowns have systematically reduced the opportunities for schooling in Tibet. For example, Tibetan children are forced to attend a boarding school in the cities during the weekdays, where they are taught almost exclusively in Mandarin. According to the government representative, the goal is clear: the aim is to suppress the Tibetan language and culture. While the proportion of boarding schools in the regions inhabited by Han Chinese is around 20 percent, in Tibet around one million and thus 90 percent of Tibetan children attend boarding schools.
Against this background, one would agree with the demand of the UN Social Committee to close coercive boarding schools and stop forced settlements. In March, before the United Nations Human Rights Council, Germany expressly referred to the situation in Tibet in a joint statement by the European Union and condemned the Chinese actions. Germany is actively trying to ensure that human rights violations there are not lost sight of, the government representative emphasized.
However, he did not want to confirm whether Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) specifically discussed Tibet during her last trip to China or at the most recent G7 summit, as MPs from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group and from Bündnis 90/Die Grünen inquired. Several members of the committee urged to use clear words towards Beijing. Representatives of the SPD faction also inquired about the suicide rate in Tibet, the AfD about cases of forced organ removal, and the Left faction about the extent of forced settlements.