ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe


14 June 2017

The Human Rights Council this morning concluded its general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.

In the debate, speakers raised concerns about human rights violations in countries and territories around the world, and on a number of human rights issues, including the protection of human rights defenders, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, women’s rights and the troubling situation of dissidents in a number of situations.  Human rights violations associated with environmental issues were also noted.  Some speakers spoke about issues such as prenatal chromosomal testing, urging States to stop discriminating against people on the basis of their conditions.

Speaking were the following non-governmental organizations: Article 19 – Centre against Censorship, International Service for Human Rights, World Environment and Resources Council, Conectas Direitos Humanos, Alsalam Foundation,  Centre Europe (joint statement), Defence for Children International (joint statement), Il Cenacolo, Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco (joint statement), Asian Legal Resource Center, Make Mothers Matter, International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education and Development (joint statement), Conseil International pour le soutien à des procès équitables et aux Droits de l’Homme, Alliance Defending Freedom, Union of Arab Jurists, Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, World Muslim Congress, Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik, International-Lawyers.org, International Humanist and Ethical Union, International Muslim Women’s Union, Human Rights Now, Liberation, Organisation Internationale pour le Développement Intégral de la Femme, International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations, International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, Beijing Zhicheng Migrant Workers’ Legal Aid and Research Center, United Nations Watch, CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Association Dunenyo, Association for the Protection of Women and Children’s Rights, Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII, Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association, Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom, Prahar, Nippon Foundation, International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Victorious Youth Movement, Asociacion Cubana de las Naciones Unidas, World Barua Organization, The National Union of Jurists, “Coup de Pousse” Chaîne de l’Espoir Nord-Sud C.D.P.-C.E.N.S, International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education, in a joint statement, Graduate Women International, Federation of Cuban Women, Women’s Human Rights International Association, France Libertes: Fondation Danielle Mitterrand, Society for Threatened Peoples, Agence pour les droits de l’homme, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Tourner la Page, Association des étudiants tamouls de France, Le Pont, Association Bharathi Centre Culturel Franco-Tamoul, Tamil Uzhagam, International Career Support Association, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Conseil de Jeunesse Pluriculturelle, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling, Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development, Comission africaine des promoteurs de la santé et des droits de l’homme, Villages Unis, Women’s International Democratic Federation, Auspice Stella and Organization for Defending Victims of Violence.

Brazil and China spoke in exercise of the right to reply.

The Council started the general debate on Tuesday, 13 June and a summary can be seen here.

At 11:30 a.m., the Council will hold an interactive dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

General Debate on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development

Article 19 stated that the internet was a public good and that any limitation on it should be necessary and proportionate.  Digital access providers should also do their part in the provision of free access to the internet.  Article 19 called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to respond to relevant concerns and to place greater attention to the limitation of the freedom of expression online.  

International Service for Human Rights urged the Human Rights Council to denounce the cases of reprisals against human rights defenders who cooperated with the United Nations Special Procedures.  It also asked for the publication of States’ replies to communications by Special Procedures, and urged the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to demand response from non-responding countries. 

World Environment and Resources Council drew the attention of the Council to the intensification of disappearances of Sindhi political activists in Pakistan, which was part of an ongoing terror operation by the Pakistani Government.  Sindhi political leaders received regular threats and were placed in torture centres or were extrajudicially killed.

Conectas Direitos Humanos warned of the ongoing operation by Brazilian security forces which entailed inhuman and degrading treatment of drug users in the Sao Paolo province.  It called on the Government of Brazil to immediately stop that operation, to investigate abuses and to hold the perpetrators accountable. 

Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain noted that the Bahraini authorities had dismantled some civil society organizations whose leaders faced judicial proceedings and had been imprisoned for their peaceful activities on the internet.  Some of the voices on the internet included those against the war in Yemen. 

Iraqi Development Organization warned that the famine in Yemen was becoming widespread.  The Saudi alliance was violating the human rights of millions of people in Yemen through arbitrary measures by the coalition forces, which should be held accountable in line with international law.

Alsalam Foundation expressed concern about the excessive use of force by Bahrain to supress peaceful demonstrations.  Authorities had also used grenades against demonstrators in one village.  It was clear that any form of opposition would be met with the use of violence, notwithstanding that those anti-democratic measures were in violation of articles 13 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Centre Europe - Tiers Monde - Europe-Third World Centre, in a joint statement with, FIAN International e.V.; Friends of the Earth International; Institute for Policy Studies; and Corporate Accountability International, said that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had announced in May 2017 an exceptional partnership with Microsoft but the Office must not accept, under any circumstances, funding from the private sector.  In light of the work on human rights obligations of transnational corporations, the corporate sector must not be enabled to find its entry into the human rights system.

Defence for Children International, in a joint statement with, Terre Des Hommes Federation Internationale, Plan International, Inc., and Foundation ECPAT International (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes), welcomed the report on the equal right to education of every girl and said that Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5 were interconnected and the measure of the quality of education could be the extent to which gender equality was included in the school curricula.  States should adopt gender-sensitive curricula which would take view of the specific needs of girls, and combat all forms of gender-based violence.

Il Cenacolo said Morocco had implemented all the conventions and their protocols relating to human rights.  Human rights defenders in the camps of Tindouf south of Algeria suffered daily harassment from the military regime of Polisario.  The Council was urged to take the necessary measures to get a clear picture of their situation.

Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco, in a joint statement with, International Volunteer Organization for Women Education Development, and European Youth Forum, said the issue of youth and human rights was important, but there were obstacles to their enjoyment of human rights, including in accessing quality education.  The empowerment of youth as human rights promoters was important for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Asian Legal Resource Centre said despite being free of colonial rule, fundamental human rights remained a mirage, the result of Asian States’ denying that realizing human rights required an implementation strategy.  Bodies like the Human Rights Council ought to analyse flawed justice systems.

Make Mothers Matter drew attention to the critical importance of early childhood development and suggested that the Council foster the exchange of good practices of cross-sectoral policies and interventions that support the healthy development of infants and young children.  Supporting healthy early childhood development had the potential to break the cycle of poverty.

International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education and Development – VIDES, in a joint statement with, Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco appreciated the attention given to environmental education, which needed to be incorporated not only in school curricula, but also in work places and local governments.  It recommended that Member States fully implement their international commitments on climate change and ensure a clean environment for children. 

Conseil international pour le soutien à des procès équitables et aux Droits de l’Homme underlined that the Gulf States oppressed freedom of expression.  People were tried in unfair trials and handed unfair sentences.  It called on relevant Special Rapporteurs to warn those countries and put a stop to the harassment of human rights defenders.  The Council should take necessary measures to address that situation. 

Alliance Defending Freedom drew attention to a campaign to stop discrimination against Down syndrome which aimed to raise awareness about new medical prenatal tests to detect Down syndrome.  Offering prenatal screening for Down syndrome under the public health system was a discriminatory practice. 
Union of Arab Jurists said that the international situation was against the realization of the right to peace and security and last decades had been fraught with attempts to infringe upon the sovereignty of States and the rights of peoples to self-determination.  There was an increase in the use of unilateral coercive measures and also a rise in violent extremism.  All this was practiced against many countries, including Syria.

Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund was concerned about the continued use of discriminatory laws and practices to punish women fighting for their rights and maintain patriarchal attitudes.  Honduras continued its attempts to criminalize abortion despite the recommendations issued by the international human rights system and Guatemala’s discrimination and violence against indigenous women continued, including rape.
Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Centre said populism led the world to be more chaotic.  Although all had tried to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the lack of a basic understanding of the role of children had hampered results.  Adults should treat children with equality and respect as well as with responsibility.

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada said some members of the Council persisted in widespread or systematic deprivations of liberty in violation of international law.  Saudi Arabia and China continued to engage in systematic rights violations by misusing domestic laws to criminalize the peaceful exercise of protected rights and to arbitrarily imprison defenders and critics.

World Muslim Congress said schools and colleges in Kashmir had been closed lately, and the Indian army had attacked students.  India was cracking down on the internet and that required urgent attention.  The Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression had raised the alarm on that issue.  The Indian State was using inhuman treatment to repress the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik called attention to the systematic deprivation of women in Iran in exercising their right to use public and private spaces.  Women who were married needed the permission of their husbands to study, to take a job and to travel.  All this discrimination had to be stopped if there was enough solidarity with women in Iran in the Human Rights Council.

International-Lawyers.org noted that the proposed resolution on human rights and climate change once again had failed to provide for the creation of a mandate to deal with that issue.  It implored the Council to stop hiding its head in the sand about the consequences of climate change.  Member States were urged to take meaningful action in that regard.

International Humanist and Ethical Union drew attention to the recent case in Chechnya where more than 100 men and been detained and tortured because they were gay or thought to be gay.   There were countless cases of violence and discrimination against people because of their actual, or perceived, sexual orientation and gender identity.

International Muslim Women Union said that the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action had stated that the right to development was a universal right.  Quality educational investment was essential for the development of societies and countries.  India had created uncertainty in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which particularly affected the physical and mental health of children and youth, who would be the shapers of societies tomorrow.

Human Rights Now stressed the need for strategic leadership for the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights regardless of the scale of the enterprise.  There were major violations of labour rights by garment Japanese companies in Myanmar, Cambodia and China, and those companies must develop due diligence to prevent violations and ensure living wages and decent work.

Liberation said that hundreds of indigenous groups lived in the north-east part of India, where some of those groups had revolted against the discrimination and repression that they had suffered for decades by the Government of India.  The peace process had been initiated; India must find solutions for the marginalized people and the international community should implement a peace process as soon as possible

Organisation Internationale pour le Développement Intégral de la Femme said in many regions of the world, human rights were violated, such as in the Tindouf camps, where women and children paid the highest price for the situation.  Their lives were placed in peril, and there were rapes committed by the Polisario.  The census should take place and acts of torture had to be denounced.

International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations said fundamental questions needed to be asked regarding the proposed United Nations budget, which suggested a decrease in funding programmes.  The whole United Nations system, not just the human rights bodies, needed increased resources to cope with the situation surrounding human rights.  The United Nations budget should be doubled.  Member States should increase the United Nations budget for the next biennium.

International Human Rights Association of American Minorities said the conflict in Indian-held Kashmir was affecting all areas of life, and there was an attempt at hampering every socio-economic sphere.  Casualties had continued and the political turmoil had created a difficult situation for people.  The fruit industry had suffered enormous losses and the education of students had been affected by curfews.

Beijing Zhicheng Migrant Workers’ Legal Aid and Research Centre said that the legal system in China was undergoing a fundamental change, which was increasing the independence of the judiciary from the local authorities.  The prosecution services were also being strengthened and prosecutions could be filed directly at the court.  

United Nations Watch wondered if the Council’s Member States were respecting the right of their people to be free from hunger.  The truth in Venezuela was that the children were suffering malnutrition, and families were adopting strategies typical for war time to find food; 34 per cent had sold assets to buy food, people were rummaging through dumpsters or sending children to beg.   Why had the Council failed to call a special session or adopt a single resolution on the situation of Venezuelans who did not have enough to eat?

Civicus raised concern about debilitating restrictions and persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex civil society groups and defenders, as was the case in Tunisia, Pakistan, Honduras, South Africa and Uganda.  The introduction of the so-called anti-propaganda laws and the closure of organizations in Europe and Central Asia limited the access of those groups to the necessary information on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

Association Dunenyo noted that the Tindouf camps on the Algerian soil continued to be considered a scene where all kinds of human rights violations were practiced.  One of those violations was the alarming situation of the systematic and well organized trafficking of international humanitarian aid sent by the international community to secure the survival of the population in the camps.

Association for the Protection of Women and Children’s Rights stated that in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir the security forces used civilians as human shields.  India saw the population of Jammu and Kashmir as terrorists that it could torture and humiliate, entering forcefully into civilian homes.  The military repression had continued with impunity. 

Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII drew attention to the food insecurity in Yemen with 7 million people affected, and severe malnutrition of 500,000 children in the Lake Chad basin.  If the 2030 Agenda was not just a political move but a real instrument to leave no one behind, its full implementation should tackle the root causes of food insecurity, poverty and vulnerability.

Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association spoke about the situation in Tripura in northeast India, saying there had been a movement in that area for decades, yet cautioning that there was a danger the reality would remain as a distant dream.

Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedom expressed deep concern at the drastically rising number of Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists.  Currently, 28 journalists were imprisoned, and the Council was called on to promptly investigate all listed violations.

Prahar said autonomy and development were essential.  A region had been neglected and poverty and unemployment were the root causes of injustice.  Corruption was rampant and though there had been change, indigenous people still had to be involved in the process of reforms.  Locals should judge, and the Council was urged to persuade India to accord equal rights to society.

Nippon Foundation drew attention to the discrimination and stigma suffered by persons affected by leprosy and their family members, and raised concern about insufficient efforts of States to implement the United Nations Principles and Guidelines which affirmed the dignity of those affected by the disease.  The Council should adopt the resolution on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy submitted by Japan to this session of the Council.

International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination called upon the Council to immediately dispatch an independent commission of inquiry to Iraq to investigate all violations committed by the militias and Government forces during the “liberation” campaigns, in which civilians were being disproportionately targeted.  In Syria, more than 400,000 civilians had died and the international community must intensify efforts to protect civilians and find lasting peaceful solutions.

International Fellowship of Reconciliation called for more attention to be paid to the activities of transnational corporations in non-autonomous and occupied territories.  In the non-autonomous area of West Sahara, the natural resources of the Sahrawi people continued to be plundered by transnational corporations, without their prior and informed consent.  This was a violation of their right to development with total impunity.

Victorious Youths Movement drew attention to the question of natural resources of Western Sahara.  Morocco’s programme of sustainable development guaranteed well-being for thousands of Saharawi people, including free education and social services.  The pillage of natural resources was the responsibility of Algeria.

Association Cubana de las Naciones Unidas said that investing in youth was a necessity and opportunity.  Cuba’s youth was at the heart of the national economic and social development.  Cuba had one of the best development indicators for youth in spite of the genocidal sanctions imposed on Cuba by the United States which had been in place for more than 50 years.

World Barua Organization noted that Dalit women were ruthlessly raped and tortured by upper-caste men as exemplified by numerous cases.  Those incidents were not addressed by the Government of India.  There was an urgent need in the Indian society to raise awareness about the violence suffered by lower-caste women. 

National Union of Jurists of Cuba said human trafficking constituted a serious human rights violation and across Latin America efforts were focused on effects rather than causes.  There were discriminatory practices against women, and Cuban society participated in efforts to mitigate that phenomenon. 
“Coup de Pousse” Chaîne de l’Espoir Nord-Sud C.D.P.-C.E.N.S expressed concern at the denial of human rights in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, where the Saharawis were subjected to constant violations, and those violations were accompanied by intimation and abuse.  International experts were refused entry into the camps and those camps were under close monitoring.  Acts of torture needed to be denounced.

International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education (OIDEL), on behalf of severals NGOs1, welcomed the panel discussion on human rights education and training.  The increasing recognition of the fundamental role of human rights education had led to initiatives at the international level.  It was important to ensure synergies, and all stakeholders should participate; civil society was a key actor that needed to be involved at all stages.

Graduate Women International welcomed the report on the realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by all girls, said that corruption blurred States’ gender obligation to education, and appealed to all States to fully embrace that educating girls mattered.  It was time for the Council and its Member States to improve access to quality education with the full inclusion of women and girls.

Federation of Cuban Women said that gender-based violence and intra-family violence in Cuba were inter-sectoral and cross-cutting.  The national legislation, and regional and international instruments that Cuba had ratified, provided for strict punishments of perpetrators of violence against women and specific measures were in place to promote the empowerment of women and girls.

Women’s Human Rights International Association called the attention of the Council and its Special Procedures to the situation in Iran, where so far in 2017, more than 250 people had been executed.  This was 50 people more than during the same period in 2016.  There were executions of minors, and executions also took place in public.  There was a need to address the human rights violations, including mass executions and acts of torture committed in 1988, which still continued.

France-Libertés: Fondation Danielle Mitterrand voiced concern over Morocco’s repression of human rights defenders and campaigns against journalists in Western Sahara.  There was limitation of access to the internet and limited access to Western Sahara for journalists.  The organization called on the United Nations to protect the freedom of expression in Western Sahara through a monitoring mechanism.
Society for Threatened Peoples drew attention to human rights violations in China with respect to religious practices during Ramadan.  Restaurants had been forced to open during daylight and fasting had been forbidden.  Reports had indicated that many students had been found overtly religious.  There was criminalization of wearing a beard and of the clothes found to be too Islamic.

Agence pour les droits de l’homme welcomed the admission of Saudi Arabia of the terrorist activities of its neighbour Qatar.  Nevertheless, Saudi princes who accused Qatar of terrorist activities at the same time gave military support to numerous extremist groups worldwide.  The Saudi royal family had spent almost 200 million dollars in 30 years to promote Wahhabism. 

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom welcomed the increased attention of the Human Rights Council to arms transfers.  Human rights concerns needed to come ahead of profit, and a recent report on the matter had highlighted how the arms trade contributed to gender violence.  The Council was urged to act on the recommendations of the relevant report.

Tourner la Page urged the immediate release of persons detained in Turkey, and in Tamil Nadu the situation of human rights activists was also of concern.  The Sri Lankan civil war had also led to concerns, and the Sri Lankan Government had held a victory parade while stopping Tamils from commemorating their war dead.  

Association des étudiants tamouls de France said decades of displacement continued in Sri Lanka due to the Government opposing normalization.  Private buildings and lands were occupied by the army and the navy.  Families had been displaced, and civilians were denied the opportunity to return even for religious reasons.  The north and east should be demilitarized.

Le Point said that the report by the Special Rapporteur on torture had found evidence of torture in Sri Lanka.  The attempts of the Government of Sri Lanka to forcibly change the demographic make-up of the island were not being adequately addressed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  There must be greater efforts to protect the Tamil Nadu human rights defenders.

Association Bharathi Centre Culturel Franco-Tamoul alerted the Council to protect the human rights defenders of Tamul Nadu, including from the continued police harassment and the criminalization of the Tamil human rights activism.  A Jesuit priest was organizing a commemoration of the end of the civil war in which more than 70,000 civilians had been killed.

Tamil Uzhagam said that Sri Lanka had committed to cooperation with the United Nations but was failing.  The population of the northern part of the island of Sri Lanka was seeking justice and genocide of the Tamils must be deplored.  Sri Lanka must release the human rights defenders who had held vigil to commemorate the victims of the genocide.

International Career Support Association reported about the situation in Okinawa and the purported suppression of human rights of local protesters.  The organization expressed hope that the Council would assess the situation fairly.

Rencontre Africaine pour la Defense des Droits de l’Homme said that despite the decreasing contribution and cooperation of countries, natural disasters had had a devastating effect on people’s lives and brought them to destitution.  Given that calamitous situation, preventive diplomacy had been missing.  Simple human solidarity could be regarded as an offence, such as in the European Union aid to refugees and migrants. 

Friends World Committee for Consultation Quakers welcomed the High Commissioner’s report on conscientious objection to military service.  It looked up to the Council to adopt in September 2017 a resolution that responded to the persistent violation of that right and that made a significant contribution to ending violations. 

Conseil de Jeunesse Pluriculturelle said the situation of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain severing relations with Qatar had had effects on thousands of workers, and several hundred students would not be able to complete their university studies if they were forced to return immediately.  The Human Rights Council and its Member States were called on to make sure that countries abided by their international obligations.  

Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling appreciated the visit of the Special Rapporteur to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  June marked the fiftieth year of the date when all of Palestinian life had been.  More than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza had been affected.  Home demolitions and settler violence overburdened Palestinian women.

Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos said Colombia was facing shortcomings within its justice system.  There was no independent judiciary, and corruption was used to weaken the judicial system.  There had been cases where threats by paramilitary forces had forced people to leave their lands.  During the transitional phase, civil servants needed to comply with transparency rules.

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development spoke about the killing of people in Maldives simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression.  The speaker provided a personal testimony and spoke of his son who had been killed earlier this year for exercising his freedom of expression.  Despite reporting threats by extremists to the police, nothing had been done to protect his life, and the life of others.

Commission africaine des promoteurs de la santé et des droits de l’homme spoke about the situation of girls and women in Jammu and Kashmir who were victims of violence by the armed personnel and suffered head and eyes wounds.  The recent videos showed the use of torture by the security personnel and this must lead to their prosecution.  The people of Jammu and Kashmir rejected the illegal occupation by the so-called largest democracy, India.

United Villages said that the Government of India had escalated violence in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir and had shut down all forms of communication.  The gag deprived people from the ability to call for or respond to the frequent emergency situations such as reaching out to hospitals or helping those injured.  The blockade was designed to obliterate the right of people of Jammu and Kashmir to assemble and peacefully protest and demand freedom.

Woman’s International Democratic Federation stated that the presence of women’s movements in the Council gave them a chance to defend their rights in the Caribbean and Latin America.  Social welfare, cultural life, sexual and reproductive rights, and access to decision-making were still problematic.  The Council should ensure that the dream of equality could come true.

Auspice Stella drew attention to the fact that in the recent years political claims for the restitution of ancestral lands of the Mapuche people in Chile had been criminalized.  Dozens of Mapuche people had been incarcerated and others assassinated by the police.  Those in detention for more than a year had gone on a hunger strike.  

Organization for Defending Victims of Violence called attention to human rights violations in Yemen where the civilians had become the main victims.  More than 11,000 civilians had been killed by the Saudi-led coalition strikes, most of them children.  The coalition was imposing a blockade, preventing millions of people accessing food and medicines.  It called on all parties to put an unconditional end to the blockade and air strikes. 

Right of Reply

Brazil, speaking in a right of reply, acknowledged the vulnerability of people living on the streets, and noted that law enforcement officials needed to minimize those people’s risks of violence.  In 2009, Brazil had set up a framework protecting the human rights of people in street situations.  Brazil was aware of the importance of providing care, including to drug users. 

China, speaking in a right of reply, said some non-governmental organizations had made accusations against China which were rejected strenuously.  China had made efforts to improve welfare in Xinjiang, and the GDP of the province had increased to over $ 900 billion.  China’s constitution provided that Chinese citizens had the freedom of religious belief, and normal activities were protected.  The Government sent students and teachers of religious institutions to Egypt and other countries, and in the autonomous region of Xinjiang, the Government understood the religious sentiments of the people and their needs for non-interference during periods such as Ramadan.


1Joint statement: International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education (OIDEL); International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR); Lazarus Union; Teresian Association; Equitas centre international d’education aux droits humains; Foundation for GAIA; Planetary Association for Clean Energy, Inc., The; Association Points-Coeur; Graduate Women International (GWI); International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; Women's World Summit Foundation; Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII; Soka Gakkai International; Arigatou International; ONG Hope International; and Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH).

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