Minorities at the UN: Uyghur women face severe rights violations in China
Rebiya Kadeer, the president of the World Uyghur Congress, spoke at a side event organised by MRG and UNPO at the UN Forum on Minorities in November 2011. The event focused on the subject of violence against women and their access to justice.
In her presentation, Kadeer drew attention to severe rights abuses faced by Uyghur women in China. She stated that due to their denial of the right to work in their own region, Uyghur women are often trafficked as a matter of state policy to other parts of Chinese provinces to work. There they work in cheap labour conditions and are not allowed to leave the factory compounds which are guarded by security guards. They are also denied free contact with their families, with guards monitoring their phone conversations.
According to Kadeer, Uyghur women who manage to escape and return to their homes are arrested and imprisoned by Chinese authorities. Parents who refuse to give up their daughters to be forcibly transfered are arrested and imprisoned, some even considered as separatists for resisting Chinese policy.
Kadeer pointed out that married Uyghur women face strict family planning policies with pregnancy only allowed at certain periods or they risk facing forced abortion. Uyghur women and children both face forced labour, with families being made to pay in the event of sickness. Attractive Uyghur women are condmned to trafficking where they end up in Chinese brothels. Reporters who have attempted to bring light to the plight of Uyghur women have been detained and imprisoned.
Kadeer closed her statement by highlighting the unfair sentencing of several teenage Uyghur women to death after the Urumqi unrest in July 2009.
Click the link below to download Kadeer’s full speech.