CAP Liberté de Conscience 18 06 2024

The 39th Human Rights Dialogue, between the European Union (EU) and China recently took place in Chongqing marking a step in addressing human rights issues in China. The discussions, held on June 17 2024 covered topics with the EU emphasizing the importance of freedom and urging China to comply with international human rights norms.

Led by the European External Action Service (EEAS) the EU delegation engaged in conversations with their counterparts reaffirming the EUs dedication to advancing and safeguarding human rights worldwide. The delegation expressed concerns about reports of human rights abuses in China particularly those concerning religious freedom.

Throughout the dialogue the EU called on China to uphold individuals rights to practice their chosen religion or belief freely without facing persecution or discrimination. It stressed that religious freedom is a human right protected by law and that China as a party to various human rights agreements is obligated to respect this right.

Specific worries were raised by the EU regarding how religious minorities treated in China including Uyghur Muslims, in Xinjiang Tibetan Buddhists and Christians. There have been reports of detentions, enforced labor and the suppression of religious beliefs, in these areas leading to global criticism and demands for action. The delegation emphasized the importance of allowing observers, such as UN human rights experts, access to these regions to evaluate the situation firsthand. Additionally the EU urged China to release individuals detained for practicing their freedom and to stop enforcing policies that limit practices.

Moreover the EU underscored the significance of communication and collaboration in addressing human rights concerns. The delegation encouraged China to participate in discussions with the community and follow through on recommendations from UN human rights bodies and special rapporteurs.

The EUs position on freedom in China is part of a commitment to upholding human rights and democratic principles globally. The EU consistently advocates for safeguarding liberties and urges nations to uphold individuals right to worship without hindrance or discrimination.

The EUs approach toward human rights issues in China aligns with its Strategic Outlook on China established in 2019 which outlines the EUs vision for an cooperative relationship, with China.

The Strategic Outlook underscores the importance of China following human rights standards and engaging in discussions, on human rights matters.

During the Human Rights Dialogue between the EU and China the EU had an opportunity to express its worries and hopes regarding rights in China directly. The EUs calls for safeguarding freedom of religion reflect a growing agreement on Chinas need to improve its human rights record and uphold the rights of all individuals within its borders.

The dialogue also covered human rights issues, including the call for transparency and accountability in judicial administration, protection of freedom of speech and association and safeguarding the rights of ethnic minorities. The EU emphasized Chinas duty to uphold its human rights commitments and follow through on recommendations from UN human rights bodies.

While the Human Rights Dialogue serves as a step in discussing rights with China the EU acknowledges that progress will demand ongoing efforts and commitment from both sides. The EU remains dedicated to collaborating with China to encourage respect, for rights and address concerns raised during these discussions.

The European Union’s stance, on rights in China is part of a plan to uphold an international order based on rules and to safeguard the universal and indivisible nature of human rights. The EU will keep working with China on rights matters through bilateral and multilateral avenues, such as the yearly EU China Summit and the UN Human Rights Council.

To sum up during the Human Rights Dialogue between the EU and China the EU emphasized its dedication to advancing freedom of religion and other essential human rights in China. The EUs calls for safeguarding minorities promoting transparency and adhering to human rights norms mirror a growing global agreement on the necessity for China to address its human rights situation. As the EU continues its dialogue with China on these matters there is optimism for progress towards an transparent and rights respecting society, in China.

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