Tibetan Children in a classroom of School in occupied Tibet. Photo: Tibet.net

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Geneva – At a recent meeting, the Federal Government of Germany expressed concern about the "increasingly deteriorating human rights situation" in Tibet and called on China to close "forced boarding schools for Tibetan children", supporting the UN Social Committee's call for an end to compulsory boarding schools for Tibetan children and the forced settlement of Tibetan nomads.

The Federal Government of Germany expressed its concern about "the increasingly deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet" and supported the UN experts' call to end all compulsory boarding schools and forced relocation of Tibetan nomads in Tibet, at a meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid on April 19, 2023.

The State Department official said, "As part of their policy of assimilation directed against the Tibetan language, culture and religion, the Chinese authorities systematically violated human rights. The methods included re-education campaigns, arbitrary detentions and a comprehensive program of forced resettlement. Around two million people with a nomadic lifestyle are affected. Part of the broader attack on Tibetan identity is a system of forced boarding schools for Tibetan children."

According to the government representative, "the goal is clear: the aim is to suppress the Tibetan language and culture. While the proportion of boarding schools in the regions inhabited by Han Chinese is around 20 percent, in Tibet around one million and thus 90 percent of Tibetan children attend boarding schools."

"Against this background, we agree with the demands of the UN Social Committee to close forced boarding schools and stop forced settlements," the official said. In March, before the United Nations Human Rights Council, Germany expressly referred to the situation in Tibet in a joint statement by the European Union and condemned the Chinese actions.

According to the Office of Tibet, Geneva, Representative Thinlay Chukki of the Tibet Bureau-Geneva welcomed Germany’s firm position to safeguard fundamental rights of the Tibetan people and said this “sends a clear message across Europe that the deplorable situation in Tibet under China can no longer be overlooked”. She urged China to pay heed to international calls to uphold its international human rights obligation and respect the rights of Tibetan people instead of spending billions to whitewash its atrocities in Tibet.