Children malnourished in Tibet

29th May 2014

UN report highlights daily struggles of Tibetans

Earlier this week, an expert United Nations committee expressed its concerns about the plight of Tibetans within China. A review by the Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights (CESCR) has challenged the Chinese government over child malnutrition, unemployment, ethnic discrimination, the mass expulsion of nomads from their land and the “severe restrictions” on Tibetans’ freedom to sustain their language, culture and religion.

Tibetan children go hungry

The CESCR examines all countries every five years, looking at how well they ensure the basic quality of life for those who live there. The committee does not consider issues like torture or repression, which are covered by other committees. Its findings for China paint a disturbing picture of impoverished Tibetans missing out on China’s “economic miracle” and routinely denied the right to Tibetan ways of life. The committee's "Concluding observations" makes clear that the worst area for child malnutrition in China is in Tibet. It also records its concerns over the link between Tibetan unemployment and the mass immigration of Han Chinese people. The committee’s report also highlights issues such as environmental degradation and corruption, affecting everywhere under Beijing's rule, including Tibet.

China claims rights safeguarded

On the heels of the report, China’s government issued its own review of its human rights record, claiming that China has "effectively safeguarded its citizens' right to life and health, personal liberty, personal dignity and other rights of the individual". The report comes as China clamps down severely on any reporting of or references to the Tiananmen Square massacre as its 25th anniversary nears.

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