According to a study released by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, China’s human rights violations against the Uyghur ethnic minority community have violated the 1948 Genocide Convention.
The Chinese government, according to international law experts, has violated Article II of the Convention, which states that genocide requires the “intent to kill, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.”
Article II states that killing members of a protected group, causing serious bodily or psychological harm to group members, inflicting conditions on group members that are intended to destroy the group, forcing group members to use birth control methods, or forcibly transferring children of the protected group to another group are all examples of intent.According to the paper, in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the People’s War on Terror, a national counterterrorism programme aimed at eliminating suspected “terrorist” threats in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), which is home to 90 percent of the Uyghur population.
During that time, authorities urged people to “fully wipe them out” and “kill them root and branch.” The study also addresses the mass internment camps that were legalised by XUAR lawmakers in 2017, with authorities advised to “increase control and punishment” inside the camps and retain “strict secrecy” over public disclosure.
The government has placed in place digital monitoring systems to keep an eye on people in the camps.Experts also drew on accounts of Uyghur women being forced to use birth control measures such as IUDs, forced abortions, and mass sterilisation.
Activists have expressed concern about recent mass killings in the camps. Experts argued in the paper, using these events as proof of China’s intent to commit genocide against the Uyghurs, the Chinese government’s long-standing, openly and repeatedly proclaimed, expressly targeted, consistently enforced, and completely resourced policy and practise against the Uyghurs is inextricably linked to “the aim to kill” the Uyghurs as a nation, in whole or in part.
As a result, China is responsible for the continuing genocide of the Uyghurs, in defiance of the Genocide Convention. The report makes no recommendations for action, but it does conclude that genocide has taken place and is continuing.