China l 300+ global rights groups call for international accountability mechanism


In line with calls by governments and UN experts, ISHR joins more than 300 global NGOs and community groups call for systematic monitoring and reporting on the Chinese government's human rights violations, at home and abroad.

Image for China and accountibility

The United Nations should urgently create an independent international mechanism to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations, a coalition of more than 300 civil society groups from dozens of countries said today.

The signatories stressed the need to address rampant human rights violations across China, including in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang.  They also highlighted the impact of China’s rights violations world-wide, including targeting human rights defenders, global censorship and surveillance, and rights-free development, with ensuing environmental degradation. 

'This global coalition joins together with 50 UN experts and dozens of governments to demand an end to China’s impunity at the UN Human Rights Council,' said John Fisher, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch. 'The UN needs to act on the growing chorus of voices calling for China to be held accountable for its rights abuses.'

The groups’ call echoes an unprecedented statement by more than 50 UN human rights experts, who in June 2020 detailed the Chinese authorities’ serious rights violations and called for 'decisive measures to protect fundamental freedoms in China'.

'China’s disdain for human rights no longer affects only its citizens—its support to dictators and efforts to rewrite international standards are making the work of defending human rights harder than ever', said Sarah Brooks, Asia Advocate at the International Service for Human Rights. 'This joint statement, for the first time, unites organizations from around the world standing up for their own communities'.

In their statement, the coalition highlighted China’s efforts to distort the mandate of the UN Human Rights Council by persecuting activists from China who use UN mechanisms to seek redress, and opposing initiatives to bring scrutiny of serious rights violations and international crimes in countries around the world. China typically rejects UN consideration of its human rights record as 'gross interference'.

'China has systematically persecuted rights defenders in reprisal for their cooperation with UN human rights operations—torture, enforced disappearance, imprisonment, stripping licenses from lawyers', said Renee Xia, director of Chinese Human Rights Defenders. 'The UN system should no longer tolerate such treatment'.

 The coalition echoes the UN experts’ calls for a special session of the Human Rights Council to evaluate the range of violations by China’s government, and an impartial and independent UN mechanism focused on China. The groups also urge UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to take responsibility for publicly addressing China’s sweeping rights violations.

'The international community can no longer sit back and allow the Chinese authorities to trample on human rights at home and abroad', said Joshua Rosenzweig, the head of Amnesty International’s China team. 'Without decisive action now, things will only get worse. It is urgent for UN member states to work together and ensure that violations committed by Beijing are officially monitored and meaningfully challenged.

'No State should be above the law'.

Illustration: ISHR 


  • Asia
  • Human rights defenders
  • United Nations
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Human Rights Council
  • China