UN employment agency raises concerns over China’s Xinjiang region
An annual report by the United Nations employment agency has shed light on the working conditions of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region.
The report of an International Labor Organization expert committee tasked with helping countries meet their own international commitments highlighted the labor rights aspect of China’s policies in Xinjiang. Advocacy groups and Western governments, among others, have raised human rights concerns about the treatment of Muslims in the region.
The 870-page report also listed a range of concerns about dozens of countries that, in fact, were urged to improve working and working conditions.
The 20-member panel of independent international experts cited the Chinese government’s defense, given in a separate report, of what it calls vocational training centers in Xinjiang. Beijing says the centers are intended to help improve economic conditions and defuse extremist violence in the region.
“The committee takes due note of the view expressed in the government report that “some forces are recklessly sensationalizing the issue of so-called ‘forced labor’ in Xinjiang on various occasions,” adding that it is not” nothing but a blatant lie, a dirty trick with ulterior motives,” the International Labor Organization document states.
“The committee is bound to observe, however, that the employment situation of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China provides ample indications of coercive measures, many of which stem from regulatory and policy documents,” the experts wrote. of the ILA.
They said “various indicators” pointed to the relocation of workers under security escort, the strict surveillance and “retention” of workers, and “the threat of internment in vocational education and training centers if workers do not ‘don’t accept ‘government administration'”.
The committee called on the Chinese government to provide more information on how its policies support “freely chosen employment” and prevent forced labor, and to provide information on the types of courses taken by Uyghurs in the centers. training and the number of participants.
A spokesman for the Chinese diplomatic mission in Geneva, where the UN agency is based, did not immediately respond to an email and voicemail from The Associated Press seeking comment.
The United States, which has repeatedly denounced the conditions facing Uyghurs, reacted quickly to Friday’s report. The State Department issued a statement “to reiterate our call for the (People’s Republic of China) to end its genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated against Muslim-majority Uyghurs and members of ‘other minority ethnic and religious groups in Xinjiang’, as well as its use of ‘forced labour’.