#HRC45 Oral Statement on China’s violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Jubilee Campaign drew the Council’s attention to the People’s Republic of China’s continuous and increasing violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Already in 2013 the Committee on the rights of the child urged China to not discriminate regarding the right to religious freedom for Uighur and Tibetan children, including children of Falun Gong practitioners.  

Since then however, China effectively extended its restriction on the right to religion or belief and freedom of expression,
to all youth under the age of 18 in China. These restrictions blatantly disregard the United Nations (UN) mechanisms and the rights the mechanisms seek to protect.

“Every individual child is a rights holder in his or her own capacity as recognised in Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child not just through membership in a family or community.”

UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Several provincial government officials released notices prohibiting minors from attending any religious-based activities following the introduction of Regulations on Religious Affairs in 2017. The officials branded religion as dangerous without providing any studies or evidence. The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief stressed that, “Every individual child is a rights holder in his or her own capacity as recognised in Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child not just through membership in a family or community.”

Read the full written statement here [HRC/45/NGO/98] and the oral statement below.

Oral Statement
Forty-fifth session of the Human Rights Council
General Debate on agenda item 4
14 September – 6 October
NGO: Jubilee Campaign

Mme. President,

Jubilee Campaign would like to draw the Council’s attention to the People’s Republic of China’s continuous and increasing violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Already in 2013 the Committee on the rights of the child urged China to not discriminate regarding the right to religious freedom for Uighur and Tibetan children, including children of Falun Gong practitioners.  

Since then however, China has effectively extended its restriction on the right to religion or belief to all Chinese children of all faith. Several provincial governments have released notices banning minors from attending any religious-based activities. Government officials have stormed summer camps and recorded the names and schools of the children.

In April 2018, local authorities forcibly drove out the minors during a Catholic mass in Zhengzhou and every Sunday, police cars stood outside the church making sure no children came inside, even infants.

Jubilee Campaign urges the Human Rights Council to:

  • Condemn China’s failure to respect the Convention of the Rights of the Child as it violates article 14, 19 and 29 of the Convention.
  • Call for an investigation into breaches of freedom of religion and belief, such as police raids of places of worship, and unlawful detention of persons based on religious discrimination, and the effect such action has on children.

Thank you.

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