China: Uighur Muslims - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:36 pm on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State 2:36 pm, 11th February 2019

The noble Lord rightly raises important issues and concerns. Reports have also indicated that even basic expressions of religious symbolism, such as the growing of a beard or the wearing of a headscarf, are used as indicators to target particular communities. I assure the noble Lord that we are working on this, including with the UN, which he mentioned. We have clearly asked the Chinese authorities to implement the full recommendations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and we have reminded them both bilaterally—as the Foreign Secretary did last year in his meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister—and in the Human Rights Council that our concerns about the camps and the reports from our diplomats in Beijing require action. On human rights more generally, I assure the noble Lord that I am specifically looking at the next meeting of the Human Rights Council in March to see how we can not just lobby on this issue but build stronger alliances.