US envoy says UN has ‘lack of curiosity’ over alleged Chinese human rights abuses
The U.S. envoy for women’s issues on Thursday said that the United Nations could be doing more to investigate reported abuses on Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.
According to The Associated Press, Ambassador-at-Large on Women’s Issues Kelley Currie told reporters on a media call that certain alleged practices, including forced birth control, home visits and sexual violence in detention centers, show a “pervasive pattern of targeting women.”
“It’s really remarkable to me as someone who used to work at the U.N. the complete lack of curiosity or concern we see from the U.N. on what are really grave allegations and very widespread and quite disturbing human rights abuses,” said Currie, who also serves as the U.S. representative at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Currie added that the U.N. 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.”
In June, the AP reported that China had been imposing forced sterilization and family planning practices in a campaign to cut birth rates among the Uighur population.
Earlier this month, human rights groups condemned the reelection of China to the U.N. Human Rights Council, along with 14 other countries including Russia, Cuba, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
Following the news, Louis Charbonneau, the U.N. director at Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera that “serial rights abusers should not be rewarded with seats on the Human Rights Council.”
The Trump administration withdrew the United States from the Human Rights Council in 2018, citing claims of a bias against Israel and the human rights track records of member countries, according to the AP.
On Tuesday, a group of U.S. senators introduced a resolution to call the alleged actions against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang a genocide.
This followed the House last month moving forward the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020, which would require companies that are publicly traded in the U.S. and do business within the region to disclose information on their supply chains, including whether their products could be made by forced labor.
Earlier this month, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) called on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to pass his resolution urging the International Olympic Committee to remove the 2022 games from China, citing “gross human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims.