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Joint statement on human rights situation in Xinjiang at 47th Session of UN Human Rights Council 

Delivered by Leslie E. Norton, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva

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June 22, 2021 - Geneva, Switzerland

Madame High Commissioner, I have the honour of delivering this cross-regional joint statement on behalf of 44 countries. 

We are gravely concerned about the human rights situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Credible reports indicate that over a million people have been arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang and that there is widespread surveillance disproportionately targeting Uyghurs and members of other minorities and restrictions on fundamental freedoms and Uyghur culture. There are also reports of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, forced sterilization, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced separation of children from their parents by authorities. 

We also share the concerns expressed by UN Special Procedures in their March 29 statement on alleged detention, forced labour and transfers of Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities and in a letter published by UN experts describing collective repression of religious and ethnic minorities. 

We urge China to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including the High Commissioner, and to urgently implement the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s 8 recommendations related to Xinjiang, including by ending the arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities. 

Finally, we continue to be deeply concerned about the deterioration of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong under the National Security Law and about the human rights situation in Tibet. We call on Chinese authorities to abide by their human rights obligations. 

Thank you. 


  1. Albania
  2. Australia
  3. Austria
  4. Belgium
  5. Belize
  6. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Canada
  9. Croatia
  10. Czech Republic
  11. Denmark
  12. Estonia
  13. France
  14. Finland
  15. Germany
  16. Haiti
  17. Honduras
  18. Iceland
  19. Ireland
  20. Israel
  21. Italy
  22. Japan
  23. Latvia
  24. Liechtenstein
  25. Lithuania
  26. Luxembourg
  27. Marshall Islands
  28. Monaco
  29. Nauru
  30. Netherlands
  31. New Zealand
  32. Norway
  33. Palau
  34. Poland
  35. Portugal
  36. Romania
  37. San Marino
  38. Slovakia
  39. Slovenia
  40. Spain
  41. Sweden
  42. Switzerland
  43. United Kingdom
  44. United States
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