The Belgian Parliament has declared Uyghurs and other minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) to be victims of Crimes Against Humanity and at serious risk of Genocide. The motion was passed with near unanimity, with only the Communist Party not voting in favour.
The motion cites evidence documenting a dramatic decline in the Uyghur birth rate following the Chinese government’s policies of mass sterilization and forced abortions against minority groups in the Uyghur Region, as well as the transfer of large numbers of children into state orphanages. In response to these abuses, the resolution calls for the Belgian Government to terminate its bilateral extradition treaty with China and to block the ratification of the now frozen EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment.
Green MP Samuel Cogolati, who initiated the motion for the recognition of the Uyghur Genocide last February, is a member of the cross-party Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) – whose members have coordinated similar declarations of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity against Uyghurs through the parliaments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Czechia, the Netherlands, and Lithuania. The US State Department has also declared Uyghurs to be victims of Genocide and a parliamentary inquiry on these allegations is ongoing in the German Bundestag.
Samuel Cogolati, co-author of the resolution and co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, said:
“Today the Belgian Parliament has raised a warning sign to the world. The Uyghurs and other minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur region are victims of the most egregious Crimes Against Humanity and are at serious risk of Genocide. There can be no further excuses for inaction.
“While these atrocities against Uyghurs continue, the Belgian government is now formally being called to terminate the bilateral extradition treaty with China and to reject the investment deal with China containing sub-par standards on forced labour. There can be no ‘business as usual’ with China while the Uyghur prison camps stay open. Belgium may be a small country, but we can send a clear message to the world that human rights standards should be upheld universally – for all people, everywhere.”