The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) together with the World Uyghur Congress have the honour to announce a large-scale demonstration in Brussels, Belgium on 27 April 2018 against the continued use of draconian ‘re-education’ camps for nearly one million Uyghurs in East Turkestan. The demonstration that is widely supported by the Uyghur community will start at Meeus Square at 10:00am where participants will gather and begin to march to Schuman Square at 11:00am.
Demonstrators are demanding that the EU:
• Call on the Chinese government to release all Uyghurs held in arbitrary detention or who have been detained without being charged
• Send an official envoy to investigate the situation on the ground
• Overhaul and strengthen EU-China Human Rights Dialogue going forward
The demonstration will build on previous efforts to bring attention to the fact that upwards of one million Uyghurs are currently being held in ‘re-education’ camps across East Turkestan. The international community has been largely muted to this fact and the European Union, who outwardly professes the importance of human rights and democracy, have remained remarkably silent.
Demonstrators are expecting the EU to adhere to international standards in terms of religious and cultural rights, freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of movement, access to justice, and freedom from arbitrary detention for the Uyghur population.
In March 2018, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) organised various activities and convened a side-event on Balochistan during the 37th session of the Human Rights Council. A conference taking place in Washington, DC, and a special newsletter shone a light on the dire situation of the Hmong people. A UNPO representative participated as a speaker in an expert meeting convened by the Tom Lantos Institute in Budapest. In Brussels, UNPO delivered a speech during the „Expanded Territories“ seminar organised by the Brussels School of Graphic Research. UNPO also submitted three reports to UPR-Info on Nigeria, China and Laos. The highlight of the month was the welcoming of our new member the Ambazonia Governing Council which operates in Southern Cameroons.
To read more about our past and upcoming activities, download the March 2018 Newsletter here.
UNPO, in collaboration with association InterCambio, will be screening documentary „Maya in Action – Narratives of resilience in Guatemala“/“Soigner nos droits – La voie des femmes mayas” at Atelier Marcel Hastir in Brussels on 10 April 2018. This event will begin with opening remarks from InterCambio and the movie will then be screened in its original version. The screening will be followed by interventions from several panelists and a moment of discussion between the speakers and the audience.
The documentary, produced by association InterCambio, presents a humane and understanding perspective on Maya women’s lives in rural areas of Guatemala, as well as on the discriminations they face in accessing health services. The protagonists are women who have decided to struggle for their rights in their own communities, despite numerous obstacles. An oral and visual testimony of the courage of these women, who often fight behind the scenes.
The event will be held in English (English subtitles to the documentary).
The documentary’s trailer is available here (in Spanish with English subtitles) and here (in Spanish with French subtitles).
18:15 Welcoming of the participants
18:45 — 20:00 Brief presentation of the documentary by InterCambio and screening
20:00 — 20:15 Break
20:15 — 21:00 Discussion featuring MEP Julie Ward and representatives from UNPO and InterCambio
The Fifth Edition of UNPO’s Hmong Newsletter is Here!
Have you ever heard of the Hmong people living in Laos?
Did you know that during the Vietnam War, the American army led a “Secret War” with their help?
Did you know that today, a couple of thousands of them live in the hostile Laotian jungle, fleeing persecution by the government?
UNPO has decided to launch a series of newsletters focusing on the Hmong. Because the world can no longer turn a blind eye on the gross human rights violations committed against them, this campaign aims at raising awareness about the plight of the Hmong living in the Laotian jungle and beyond.
For this month’s edition, we have decided to put the spotlight on on Hmong children and the latest news regarding the Hmong in the United States.
Download the March 2018 edition of the UNPO Hmong Newsletter here and follow the campaign on social media with the hashtag: #HmongInIsolation.
UNPO also has the pleasure to announce two upcoming events focussing on the Hmong:
In December 2017 and January 2018, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) convened a number of events. A conference about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), taking place in Washington DC, shone a light on the human rights situation in Gilgit-Baltistan. Other activities during these two months included an event at the United Nations’ Minority Forum which provided a platform for youth minority representatives to discuss the detrimental impact of enforced assimilation, an event introducing Abkhazian products and the region’s tourism potential to the European market, as well as the release of several reports and UPR submission.
To read more about our past and upcoming activities, download the December 2017 – January 2018 Newsletter here.
In November 2017, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), with the support of MEP Franciso Assis (S&D) launched a friendship group on indigenous peoples in Latin American at the European Parliament. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the dire situation facing the Guarani Kaiowá and to look at what clout the EU has to address these issues, given that it is one of the region’s leading trade partners. Other activities taking place this month included a conference entitled “False Autonomy: China’s Rule of Southern Mongolia”. This conference, following last month’s event on the Uyghurs of East Turkestan, shed a light on the challenges faced by another minority under Chinese rule.
To read more about our past and upcoming activities, download the November 2017 edition of the UNPO Newsletter. To read more about our past and upcoming activities, download the November 2017 edition of the UNPO Newsletter.
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) invites you to join us on 28 November 2017, from 8:30 – 10:30 at the European Parliament, as in collaboration with MEP Csaba Sógor (EPP) and the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, we will host a conference on the rights of minorities in Southern Mongolia.
This conference aims to raise European awareness of the oppression of Mongols within China and provide a comprehensive introduction to the human rights abuses they are subject to.
Southern Mongolia sits within the borders of the People’s Republic of China, where it is officially named the “Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region” and stretches horizontally along the northern border with Mongolia proper. The region was designated in 1947, and grew to incorporate other contiguous regions with sizable Mongol populations. Recent census data shows that with 24 million people, the majority of the population is Han Chinese. With a population of 4 million, ethnic Mongols are a minority within their own region. Within the Mongol population, there are numerous subgroups who speak Mongol languages, such as the Oirats and the Buryats.
As an ethnic, cultural, and linguistic minority within the region, Mongol communities are subject to myriad discriminatory practices by Chinese authorities. The sustained oppression Mongols experience is both geopolitical and ethnic in nature. In these communities, the foremost sources of suffering are internal displacements, as a result of environmental degradation and land-grabbing, as well as ethnic discrimination, particularly regarding their religious and political identities. Mongols are denied political and civil rights in addition to land rights, while suffering widespread human rights violations all the while. Their disenfranchisement is the result of long-term and compounded repression, which leaves them with few viable alternative paths to empowerment.
In October 2017, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) launched the first Uyghur Friendship group at the European Parliament in collaboration with MEPs Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Csaba Sógor, to bring awareness to the rise of human rights violations facing the Uyghur people worldwide. Other activities taking place this month included a conference organised in D.C. on the human right violations accompanying the implementation of CPEC infrastructure project in Balochistan and a hearing at the European Parliament on the rampant violence facing women in Ethiopia.
To read more about our past and upcoming activities, download the October 2017 edition of the UNPO Newsletter.
UNPO invites you to join us on the 19th of October 2017 as the newly-formed Uyghur Friendship Group, in collaboration with MEP’s Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Csaba Sógor, presents a cultural event highlighting the Uyghur heritage.
The European Parliament has had a long history in its involvement and support for the respect of the human rights of the Uyghur people. Now, this new Uyghurs Friendship Group will serve as an informal network of MEPs who will gather regularly to address the Uyghur community’s harsh human rights situation, as well as its rich culture. The aim of this friendship group is to direct focus towards the European political agenda, in accordance with the European Parliament’s strategy in respect of minorities’ rights.
This will start with a conference, immediately followed by an opening ceremony and a cultural event with the aim to internationally raise the profile of the Uyghur heritage. The conference brings together renowned scholars and experts who will speak out on behalf of the Uyghur community against the marginalisation they suffer and advocate for a better harmonization of the international law and their living conditions. This will touch upon the Uyghur language ban and problems concerning freedom of religion. The conference will also raise awareness of the lack of news on the conditions of the 2016 Sakharov Prize nominee, Professor Ilham Tohti. In this manner, the event will stimulate the sharing of ideas between MEPs, representatives of NGOs, scholars and members of the Uyghur community to help influence action.
In September 2017, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) convened a series of side-events at the 36th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. In collaboration with our members and partner organisations, UNPO organised events on freedom of religion and belief, the humanitarian crisis in the Ogaden, on the human rights situation in Balochistan, on the rampant use of enforced disappearances in Iran, on the ongoing occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan, as well as on challenges representatives from minorities and indigenous groups face when participating in United Nations mechanisms. Other activities taking place this month included a Baloch cultural event in London, which celebrated Baloch music, poetry, history, food and literature.
To read more about our past and upcoming activities, download the September 2017 edition of the UNPO Newsletter.