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Universal Periodic Review to Examine China's Human Rights Records

By XUELIN MU|Jan 22,2024

Chongqing - The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group will examine the human rights records of 14 states, including China, from January 22nd  to February 2nd, 2024, in Geneva.

The UPR is a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council that calls for each UN Member State to undergo a peer review of its human rights records every four-and-a-half years. The first, second, and third UPR reviews of China took place in February 2009, October 2013, and November 2018, respectively.

This time, the delegation of China will be led by Ambassador Chen Xu, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland. Bridging News takes the chance to interview Prof. Chang Jian, director of the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Nankai University and one member of the delegation of China Society for Human Rights Studies. Before the meeting, he shows a glimpse of the upcoming review.

Prof. Chang Jian is on his way to Geneva on January 21st. (Photo/Prof. Chang Jian)

Starting with the national report is one of the documents on which the reviews are based and provided by the states under review; Prof. Chang Jian introduced that the new national report that will be delivered to the UPR Working Group more specifically and fully demonstrates achievements that China has made in improving and protecting human rights in an all-round way in recent years, and it will also respond to concerns and suggestions propounded to China last review in 2018 with explicit progress and efforts China has made to make changes.

He mentioned that during the review, the delegation of China also shoulders other important responsibilities. For instance, one is to adopt new suggestions that align with China’s national conditions, and one is to clarify if some who don’t know China very well mention wrong data or inaccurate information. Meanwhile, facing false accusations made up by some countries for political purposes, the Chinese delegation will make forceful refutation with solid facts and evidence.   

He also predicted that Xinjiang, Xizang, and Hong Kong would be the review’s focus. From the perspective of Western countries, they would comment on protecting civic and political rights.

Meanwhile, he introduced that the China Society for Human Rights Studies will hold a sideline meeting during the 45th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group in Geneva to present the development of human rights in China. In addition, other Chinese NGOs, like the United Nations of the Association of China and the China NGO Network for International Exchanges, will also hold related sideline meetings. 


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