Suspected Mass Atrocity Crimes in the Uyghur Region

IPAC Statement on the Treatment of Ethnoreligious Minorities in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Published 29th June 2020

The Uyghur people and other predominantly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, are enduring intolerable, state sponsored persecution.

A body of mounting evidence now exists, alleging mass incarceration, indoctrination, extrajudicial detention, invasive surveillance, forced labor, and the destruction of Uyghur cultural sites, including cemeteries, together with other forms of abuse. Estimates of the numbers of people interned range from the high hundreds of thousands to a staggering three million.

Despite repeated requests, Xi Jinping and the Government of the People’s Republic of China have not permitted an independent investigation into these alleged atrocities.

A new report published today presents compelling and alarming evidence of a dramatic decline in birth-rates among ethnic minority communities in the Xinjiang region, and a related state policy of intrusive birth prevention, which includes female sterilization. This may indicate that the Chinese government is pursuing and enforcing a coordinated policy to reduce the population of minority groups.

The world cannot remain silent in the face of unfolding atrocities. Our countries are bound by solemn obligations to prevent and punish any effort to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group “in whole or in part”.

Therefore we commit to urgent political action in each of our countries. Our governments must now support a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly to establish an international, impartial, independent investigation into the situation in the Xinjiang region; must act to ensure that the appropriate legal determinations regarding the nature of alleged atrocities can be made; and must spare no effort in pursuing rapid and decisive political action to prevent the further suffering of the Uyghur people and other minorities in China.

Campaign Highlights

  • Evidence of birth repression. IPAC co-published evidence for a government birth prevention programme in the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region. This was accompanied by coordinated parliamentary interventions from IPAC members in the US, the UK, Italy, France, and Czechia . A joint statement at the UN signed by 27 countries echoed IPAC calls for investigations into abuses in the region, one day after the report’s release.

  • ‘Magnitsky’ human rights sanctions. Advocacy led by IPAC has successfully called for sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for abuses in Xinjiang in following coordinated actions in the US, EU, UK and Canadian parliaments. IPAC has hosted briefings for legislators considering proposing Magnitsky style human rights sanctions regimes in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Parliamentary declarations of Uyghur abuses. Motions led by IPAC Members declaring the Uyghurs to be victims of suspected Genocide passed the parliaments of the UK, Canada, Netherlands, Czechia, Belgium and Lithuania. IPAC Members have secured parliamentary debates and hearings on suspected Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity in the Xinjiang region in the Germany and Italy

  • Legal Investigations into alleged Uyghur genocide. IPAC has supported efforts to make legal determinations on suspected mass atrocity crimes in the Uyghur region. A complaint to the International Criminal Court on alleged genocide against Uyghurs was signed by more than 60 IPAC members from 16 countries. IPAC hosted a briefing for UK Members with Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, convenor of the Uyghur Tribunal, with Members later stating their support for the initiative in Parliament.


Professor Adrian Zenz has published a special report for Jamestown, titled Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang. The report can also be viewed at Jamestown website.


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