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Three further chapters examine the role of the Catholic Church in other mediations - in the Basque conflict, in Burundi and in Chiapas, while a further group of chapters looks at conflicts in Ethiopia, Northern Ireland, Central America and Congo. This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

Mediation Helps Break Human Rights Logjam - Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP

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In January , Chinese authorities forcibly disappeared Swedish citizen and bookseller Gui Mihai while he was traveling with Swedish diplomats. In August, media reports revealed that Google, which suspended its search service in China in citing censorship concerns, had been developing a censored search engine app for the Chinese market.

The government also tightened its ideological grip over universities. A number of professors, including foreigners, were punished for making comments critical of the government. The Chinese government also pressured foreign companies to adhere to disputed terms and policies. In January, US-based Marriott International apologized for listing Taiwan and Tibet as separate countries on its website after authorities shut down the website and app in China for a week.

After Chinese authorities threatened to ban them from operating in China, dozens of international airlines made changes on their websites to refer to Taiwan as part of China. The government restricts religious practice to five officially recognized religions in officially approved premises. In February, revised Regulations on Religious Affairs came into effect. Cao had been involved in educational projects for impoverished minority groups in Myanmar. A crackdown on Christian churches intensified in Henan province during the year, as authorities demolished dozens of church buildings or the crosses atop of them, prevented believers from gathering in house churches, and confiscated bibles and other religious materials.

In September, the Vatican and Beijing reached a historic deal, ending a decades-long standoff over authority to appoint bishops in China. Under the accord, Beijing will propose names for future bishops and the Pope will have veto power over the appointments. Ningxia authorities have reportedly also moved Islamic icons and Arabic signs from streets across the region. The Hong Kong and Chinese governments have harassed people for peaceful pro-independence speech.

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In August, Demosisto reported that police had briefly detained and interrogated two members in the mainland in March and August. In September, a pro-independence group, Studentlocalism, said police in the mainland had harassed relatives of two members for their political activities in Hong Kong.

In an unprecedented move, the Hong Kong government in September banned a political party—the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party. Chinese authorities are hostile to many expressions of Uyghur identity, and have in recent years justified sweeping repression as a necessary response to threats of terrorism.

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But the level of repression increased dramatically after Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo was transferred from the Tibet Autonomous Region to assume leadership of Xinjiang in late Credible estimates indicate that 1 million people are being indefinitely held in the camps, where Turkic Muslims are being forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, praise the government and party, and abandon many aspects of their distinct identity.

Outside these detention facilities, authorities subject Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang to extraordinary restrictions on personal life. Authorities have recalled passports throughout the region, and to travel from one town or another, people have to apply for permission and go through checkpoints. They are subjected to persistent political indoctrination, including compulsory flag-raising ceremonies and political or denunciation meetings.

With unprecedented levels of control over religious practices, authorities have effectively outlawed the practice of Islam in the region. They have also subjected people in Xinjiang to pervasive surveillance.

What are the universal human rights? - Benedetta Berti

Authorities employ high-tech mass surveillance systems that make use of QR codes, biometrics, artificial intelligence, phone spyware, and big data. The campaign has divided families, with some family members in Xinjiang and others abroad caught unexpectedly by the tightening of passport controls and border crossings. Children have at times been trapped in one country without their parents. The government has barred Turkic Muslims from contacting people abroad, and has pressured some Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs living outside the country to return to China, while requiring others to provide detailed personal information about their lives abroad.

The collective punishment of families was particularly striking in the case of five US-based Radio Free Asia Uyghur Service journalists. Media reports in February said their relatives in Xinjiang have been detained in retaliation for their journalism about the region. Authorities in Tibetan areas continue to severely restrict religious freedom, speech, movement, and assembly, and fail to redress popular concerns about mining and land grabs by local officials, which often involve intimidation and arbitrary violence by security forces. Authorities intensified surveillance of online and phone communications.

There were clear findings by UN human rights experts that the charges were baseless. Nonetheless, courts sentenced former political prisoner Tsegon Gyal in January to three years in prison and language activist Tashi Wangchuk in May to five years.

Several hundred Tibetans traveling on Chinese passports to India for a January teaching by the Dalai Lama were forced to return early when officials in Tibetan areas threatened retaliation against those traveling abroad and their family members back home. Intensified political education has been reported in monasteries and schools, and for the public at large.

Tibetan authorities have used a nationwide anti-crime campaign to encourage people to denounce members of their communities on the slightest suspicion of sympathy for the exiled Dalai Lama or opposition to the government.

Several more cases were reported in of land grabs by local officials for construction projects, both in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas. In Driru county, 30 villagers were detained in May for allegedly sharing with international media information about the arrest of a village leader who had led popular opposition to a mining project on a sacred mountain. Tibetans continue to self-immolate to protest Chinese policies; four more such protests took place between November and time of writing.

In , the MeToo movement gained momentum in China as a slew of prominent academics, journalists, and activists were accused on social media of sexual misconduct. After a prominent state media TV host and a senior Buddhist monk at a government-controlled temple were accused of sexual harassment, censors deleted social media posts about those cases. In June, China University of Petroleum authorities held Ren Liping, a student who had accused an ex-boyfriend of raping her on campus, for six days in a hotel room after she protested against the university and police for mishandling her allegations.

While women in China may be more willing to speak out against sexual harassment, seeking legal redress is still very difficult.

Australia – Laos Human Rights Dialogue

Chinese law prohibits sexual harassment, but its failure to define the term makes meaningful legal action nearly impossible. Women continue to face widespread discrimination in the job market. In the national civil service job list, 19 percent specified a requirement or preference for men, up from 13 percent from the previous year. Technology giants including Alibaba and Tencent pledged to ensure gender equality in their recruitment. As China faces an unprecedented sex ratio imbalance and aging population, authorities promoted traditional roles for women, encouraging them to marry early and have children.