Recommendations of Tibet Advocacy Coalition. (Photo: file)

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Geneva — Ahead of China's Universal Periodic Review on January 23, 2024, Tibetan human rights advocates and activists from the Tibet Advocacy Coalition met with the governments of over 30 countries and informed them of the truth about the situation in Tibet, which includes Chinese boarding schools in Tibet, the denial of religious freedom for Tibetans, and Tibetan human rights defenders / justice and fair trials.

Tibetan activists and members of Students for a Free Tibet, International Tibet Network, Tibet Action Institute, Tibet Initiatives, Tibet Justice Center and Tibetan Youth Association in Europe met with the governments of over 30 countries ahead of China's Universal Periodic Review on January 23, 2024, and briefed them on the truth of the situation in Tibet, which includes Chinese boarding schools in Tibet, the denial of religious freedom for Tibetans, and the unfair and unfavourable working conditions for Tibetans and Tibetan human rights defenders/justice and fair trials inside Tibet under Chinese regime.

China's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will take place on January 23, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland. It will be the fourth Universal Periodic Review of China's human rights record between 2018 and 2023. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a five-yearly peer review of the human rights records of UN Member States, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, which assesses the human rights records and the fulfilment of human rights obligations and commitments of other States, and makes recommendations to the State under review.

China's first Universal Periodic Review took place on February 9, 2009, the second on October 22, 2013, the third on November 6, 2018 and the fourth on January 23, 2024. At China's third UPR in November 2018, China received 346 recommendations from 150 countries.

During the Tibet Advocacy Coalition's meeting with government representatives from over 30 countries, they recommended four main recommendations and asked advance questions about Tibet. These recommendations are as follows: A) Cooperation with the United Nations / access; B) Boarding schools in Tibet; C) Denial of religious freedom; D) Unfair and unfavourable working conditions; and E) Human rights defenders / justice and fair trials.

These recommendations are as follows:

● Immediately grant meaningful and unfettered access to Tibet for UN independent human rights observers, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and his Office, and all relevant Special Procedure mandate holders.
● Immediately abolish the residential boarding school and pre-school system imposed on Tibetan children and authorise the establishment of and subsidise private Tibetan schools.
● Immediately lift the restrictions against voluntary and community-based Tibetan language associations and their classification as ‘illegal associations’ in order to ensure they are free to operate safely and effectively.
● Revise the “bilingual education” policy that replaces Tibetan with Chinese as the medium of instruction and ensure that all Tibetan children are able to use Tibetan in every aspect of their schooling.
● Cease interference in the selection and installation of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including any future Dalai Lama, which must be determined solely by the Tibetan people, in accordance with international human rights law.
● Immediately repeal the “Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism” and the “Religious Affairs Regulations of 2017”.
● Immediately halt non-voluntary “labour transfer” and “vocational training” programmes targeting Tibetans and cease ‘political re-education’ in these programmes.
● Repeal or amend provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law that violate the rights of detainees to a fair trial and are routinely used to arrest Tibetans for peacefully exercising their human rights, under the guise of ‘separatism’ and State Security crimes.
● Immediately and unconditionally release Tibetans arrested for peacefully exercising their human rights, including A-Nya Sengdra and Go Sherab Gyatso.