UN agency expresses concern over treatment of workers in Xinjiang | abroad

China’s policy towards workers in Xinjiang is “discriminatory” and is not in line with international standards. A panel of lawyers from the International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency, expressed its “deep concern”. The Chinese government in Beijing is called upon to improve the situation.

A statement from the commission refers, among other things, to Chinese rules that can impose all kinds of obligations on companies and labor unions in order to “de-extremism”. There has been a lot of criticism of Chinese policy in Xinjiang for some time now.

More than a million people, mostly Uighurs and members of other Muslim minorities, are being held as forced laborers in camps in the far west of the country, according to United Nations experts and human rights groups. But China denies abuses in Xinjiang and says policies there help fight extremism.

The ILO report will be discussed at a major conference later this year. The conclusions can also lead to a formal complaint. A commission of inquiry will then be formed to continue investigating the violations.

The new criticism comes at a sensitive time. The situation in Xinjiang has received additional attention recently due to the Olympic Games in China. In protest of human rights abuses, countries such as the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have previously decided not to send dignitaries to the sporting event.

Denton Watson

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