Re-education camps is the name given to the internment camps operated by the People's Republic of China Xinjiang Autonomous Region's government in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), since 2014. It is estimated by the United Nations and many international media reports that Chinese authorities have detained millions of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Hui (Muslims) and other ethnic Muslims, Christians and also foreign citizens such as Kazakhstanis in these shrouded internment camps throughout the region.

 

According to the Chinese government the detentions are done to re-educate potential criminals. The detainees are sent for “transformation”. Detentions are apparently open-ended and can last for weeks, months – possibly even years. Because there is no fixed “sentence”, the authorities are left to decide when an individual has been satisfactorily “educated”. According to those who have spent time in “transformation-through-education” centers, life inside for detainees is subject to a harsh discipline all but indistinguishable from that in formal detention facilities. They are lectured about the dangers of “religious radicalism”, made to study Chinese, and forced to memorize legal provisions and patriotic songs and write “self-criticisms” that are key to determining whether they have been sufficiently “educated” for release. Those who resist or fail to show enough progress reportedly face punishments ranging from verbal abuse to food deprivation, solitary confinement, beatings and use of restraints and stress positions.


China is said to be a member country to support international relations and human rights. It is party to four international conventions on human rights. They are, The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ratified in 1981), The International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights – ICESAR (ratified in 2001), The Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women - CEDAW (ratified in 1980) and The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – UNCAT (ratified in 1988). Although China signed The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights -ICCPR, it did not ratify the same. All these conventions speak about human rights and liberties. In spite of being a member country in so many important human rights treaties China is still violating them and the most surprising fact is that the international community is not taking any prominent action against China.  

 

There is no outcry in the international community. Muslim countries such as Iran, Iraq, Saudi-Arabia etc. they are doing nothing to stop China from continuing these detention camps which is potentially expanding. One of the reasons which is suppressing the international community is the “One Belt One Road” project which is a multi-billion-dollar project that China is undertaking. The countries involved do not want to lose the project as they will be getting multi-billion-dollar loans due to the project.

 

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