International Scrutiny on China’s Human Rights Record at UN Review

International Scrutiny on China's Human Rights Record at UN Review
International Scrutiny on China's Human Rights Record at UN Review
International Scrutiny on China's Human Rights Record at UN Review
International Scrutiny on China's Human Rights Record at UN Review

International Scrutiny on China’s Human Rights Record at UN Review

International Scrutiny on China’s Human Rights Record at UN Review/UNTV

International Scrutiny on China’s Human Rights Record at UN Review

China’s human rights record is under examination during the fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group session of the UN Human Rights Council. Analysts and rights advocates see this as a crucial opportunity for member states to hold China accountable for its human rights obligations. The UPR process allows UN Member States to assess each other’s human rights records and make recommendations, with China’s last review in 2018 raising concerns about Uyghur detention camps.

Peer-Review Process and China’s Previous UPR

The UPR is a peer-review mechanism where member states evaluate each other’s human rights performance and offer recommendations. China, facing its fourth UPR, received 346 recommendations in 2018, accepting 284, but many were considered questionable. Notably, China rejected recommendations on Uyghur and Tibetan rights, UN cooperation, enforced disappearances, and ratification of international treaties.

Mounting Human Rights Abuses Since 2018

Despite a seemingly high acceptance rate in 2018, China faced criticism for rejecting key recommendations related to human rights abuses. Since then, various UN human rights bodies have documented increasing violations. This UPR session follows the publication of the UN ‘Xinjiang Report’ in 2022, suggesting crimes against humanity against Uyghurs, an issue that China has sought to suppress.

Limited Spaces for Open Discussion on China’s Record

With a narrow defeat of a resolution on Xinjiang at the Human Rights Council in 2022, the UPR remains one of the few spaces for open discussion on China’s human rights situation. The review offers a rare moment of global scrutiny and challenges for China based on UN information. The absence of a debate on China’s human rights in the council adds significance to the UPR.

Post-Review Steps and China’s Expected Response

After the UPR, China will review the recommendations received and decide which ones to implement. The government is expected to provide information during the June 2024 session, and limited comments from governments and NGOs will follow. China is encouraged to report on implementation status halfway through, but it has not done so in past reviews. The government is expected to implement accepted recommendations until its next UPR in 2029.

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