The UN is not doing enough to investigate reported abuses in China’s Xinjiang region against members of Muslim minority groups, US Ambassador-at-Large on Women’s Issues Kelley Currie said yesterday.
Citing reports of forced birth control, home visits and sexual violence in detention centers, Currie said that such practices show a “pervasive pattern of targeting women.”
“It’s really remarkable to me as someone who used to work at the UN the complete lack of curiosity or concern we see from the UN on what are really grave allegations, and very widespread and quite disturbing human rights abuses,” said Currie, who is also the US Representative at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
The UN is “failing to speak out about the situation in Xinjiang, failing to demand access in a meaningful way and to investigate these very serious and credible allegations,” Currie told reporters on a media call.
The Associated Press has previously reported that China has been carrying out a draconian campaign to cut the birthrate of its Uighur Muslim population by forced sterilization and compulsory family planning practices.
US President Donald Trump’s administration withdrew the US from the UN Human Rights Council in 2018, citing what it said was a bias against Israel and the human rights track records of member countries.
China was re-elected to the council earlier this month, in a move condemned by major democratic nations and human rights groups.
Pointing to what it says are ongoing abuses, the US has in recent months issued a series of sanctions against actors in Xinjiang, including senior officials and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps that operates as a government-within-a government within the resource-rich region.
On Tuesday, a group of US senators introduced a resolution to call what is happening in Xinjiang genocide.
Beijing has maintained that there are no human rights abuses in Xinjiang, denouncing reports to the contrary as fabrications.
Critics say China has detained more than 1 million Uighurs, Khazaks and members of other Muslim groups under prison-like conditions in political indoctrination centers across the vast region.
China at first denied the existence of the centers, but now says they are intended to teach job skills, and deradicalize potential terrorists and religious extremists.
“The so-called ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang is a rumor deliberately concocted by some anti-China forces and a farce to slander China,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) said on Wednesday.
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