What is Genocide? Do the actions of the Chinese government fit the definition of genocide?

The definition of genocide is taken from the United Nation’s Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The actions of China’s government does check all the requirements to label it as genocide.


What is Genocide?

China is committing genocide against the Uyghur community. According to the United Nations, in the present Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article II states “genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. killing members of the group;
  2. causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

As of July 2019, 152 states have ratified or acceded the Genocide Convention – including China.    

China’s Breaches of the Genocide Convention

The Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy (with Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights) is “the first independent expert application of the 1948 Genocide Convention to the ongoing treatment of the Uyghurs in China.” The report factually demonstrates how each of the aforementioned acts are being committed to the Uyghur community:

  1. mass deaths and deaths of prominent Uyghur leaders either by death sentence (execution or long-term imprisonment)
  2. systematic torture and cruel treatment (beatings with metal prods, electric shocks, and whips), including rape, sexual abuse, exploitation, and public humiliation
  3.  Uyghurs of childbearing years, household heads, and community leaders are targeted by authorities, birth-prevention measures on Uyghur women, separate Uyghur children from their parents, and transfer Uyghurs on a mass scale into forced hard labor schemes
  4. forced IUD insertions, abortions, and injections or medication halting their menstrual cycles, depriving the Uyghur population of the ability to reproduce. Growth rates in Uyghur-concentrated areas are increasingly approaching zero.
  5. Uyghur children are being sent to State-run orphanages and raised in Chinese-language environments with standard Han child-rearing methods.

Countries That Have Declared China’s Actions as Genocide

  1. United States of America (Jan 19, 2021)

  2. Canada (Feb 22, 2021)

  3. Netherlands (Feb 25, 2021)

  4. UNITED KINGDOM (APR 22, 2021)

  5. LITHUANIA (MAY 20, 2022)

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