The “International Uyghur Forum: Global Parliamentarian Convention” at the National Diet of Japan brought together more than 150 participants, including parliamentarians, Uyghur rights advocates, and civil society representatives. The event was jointly organized by the Japan-Uyghur Parliamentary Caucus (JUPC), the Japanese parliamentary caucus for addressing human rights abuses by China (JPCHC), the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), in collaboration with the Japan Uygur Association (JUA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC). The conference aimed to unite parliamentarians from around the world to address the Uyghur Genocide and support Uyghurs globally.
Key discussions during the conference focused on international responses to the Uyghur genocide, including issues such as racial discrimination, physical and psychological torture, forced labor, and cross-border persecution. Participants sought to foster cooperation among parliamentarians from various countries and devise strategies to tackle ongoing challenges. The event also addressed democratic erosion in Hong Kong, military tensions near Taiwan, and China’s threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
David Lega, a Member of the European Parliament, highlighted the importance of addressing Chinese propaganda and promoting policy clarity. He expressed unity for truth and justice in the Uyghur cause.
The United Nations has played a significant role in addressing Uyghur human rights violations. A report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in August 2022 recognized these violations as crimes against humanity. Furthermore, the United Nations, through joint statements by major democratic nations, has consistently called for an immediate halt to inhumane acts against Uyghurs and independent investigations.
In October 2022, a joint statement condemning China for the Uyghur Genocide was issued by 50 countries, including Japan, during a United Nations General Assembly meeting on human rights. Subsequently, in November of the same year, the United Nations Human Rights Council recommended China’s release of detained Uyghurs and the provision of remedies and reparations to victims.
Tomoya Obokata, UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, emphasized the need for China to protect and promote human rights and prevent labor exploitation, particularly among the Uyghur people. He clarified his independent role within the United Nations system, enabling him to advocate for affected communities, including the Uyghurs, on the international stage.
Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress, stressed the urgency of international action to stop the ongoing Uyghur genocide and sought support from governments worldwide.
Notably, Japan has taken a leading role in the Asia-Pacific region by openly condemning and acknowledging the atrocities against Uyghurs and other Turkic ethnic groups. Since 2019, Japan, during the second Abe administration, has been the sole non-Western country to annually sign a joint statement condemning the Uyghur Genocide at the United Nations. The current Kishida administration has prioritized human rights diplomacy, including addressing the Uyghur Genocide, as outlined in its election manifesto, and the establishment of a Prime Minister’s Adviser on International Human Rights Issues.”