CALL FOR EVIDENCE: AN INQUIRY INTO HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHINA 2016-2020

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CALL FOR EVIDENCE 

The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission will hold an inquiry into the human rights situation in China, focused on the period since 2016 until the present day. It follows a previous inquiry in 2016, which covered the period 2013-2016 and published its findings in a report titled The Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013-2016.1  

The inquiry is particularly interested in (although not limited to) the following: 

  • The persecution of Uyghur, Kazakhs and other Muslims in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China; 
  • The link between human rights violations, surveillance, artificial intelligence and technology, especially in light of the decision to engage Huawei in the UK’s 5G telecommunications infrastructure; 
  • Freedom of religion or belief, for Uyghur and other Muslims, Christians, Falun Gong and Tibetans; 
  • Freedom of expression; 
  • The situation in Hong Kong; 
  • Forced organ harvesting; 
  • Human rights violations in the context of the Coronavirus crisis.

Written submissions can be sent to Benedict Rogers, Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, at cphrc@protonmail.com, any time by 18.00 GMT on Monday 1 June 2020  

There is no specific length required, although we would suggest no more than ten pages unless absolutely necessary. Submissions should focus on specific evidence, examples of violations of human rights, data, statistics, eye-witness accounts, analysis, and should include recommendations for what the United Kingdom could do to address the issue, and include contact details and institutional affiliation where appropriate. 

The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission will, based on evidence received in writing and in the hearings, produce a report, to be published later this year. 

Context and Scope of the Inquiry 

In 2016, the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission held an in-depth inquiry into human rights in China covering the period 2013-2016 and published its findings in a report titled The Darkest Moment: The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2013-2016.2  

Since 2016 the Commission has held further, smaller inquiries related to China, particularly on forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in 20163 and the influence of Confucius Institutes in 2019.4 The Commission has also held several private briefings and meetings on human rights in China in recent years. 

In light of recent developments, in particular (but not limited to) the situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Hong Kong, the Coronavirus, violations of freedom of religion or belief against Christians, the agreement between the Vatican and China, the decision by the British government to permit Huawei engagement in 5G telecommunications infrastructure, the findings of the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China (the “China Tribunal”) and reports of continuing use of prisoners for forced labour, among other issues, the Commission has decided to hold a new inquiry to examine developments that have occurred since our last inquiry four years ago. 

The inquiry will involve two hearings in Parliament in March, at which we will hear from invited witnesses providing oral evidence. We request those providing oral evidence to also submit written evidence. In addition, we publish this Call for Evidence inviting written submissions.  

About the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission: 

The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission is a body established to highlight international human rights concerns, and thereby inform, advise and enhance the party’s foreign policy.  Freedom and human dignity should be at the heart of foreign policy and the Commission aims to ensure that the importance of fundamental human rights is kept high on the political agenda. 

The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission was set up by the Foreign Secretary in 2005 with Gary Streeter MP as the founding Chairman. The Commission is currently chaired by Fiona Bruce MP, and since its creation the Commission’s chairs have included The Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP, The Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry (former MP) and The Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP. 


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