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Xinjiang's human rights progress hailed at conference in Geneva
2019-03-22 

The development and progress of human rights in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has been hailed by several foreign diplomats and delegates at a conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

The Human Rights Progress in Xinjiang conference held in Geneva on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 was attended by nearly 200 diplomats from over 70 countries, along with officials from international organizations and representatives from relevant non-governmental organizations. [Photo: China Plus]

The Human Rights Progress in Xinjiang conference held in Geneva on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 was attended by nearly 200 diplomats from over 70 countries, along with officials from international organizations and representatives from relevant non-governmental organizations. [Photo: China Plus]

China's Permanent Mission to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) and the China Society of Human Rights Studies held an conference called Human Rights Progress in Xinjiang to coincide with the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Xinjiang today enjoys faster development and greater stability than ever before, said Yu Jianhua, the head of the China's Mission to the UNOG. Speaking at the event, he said that the economic, political, social, cultural, and environmental rights of all ethnic groups in the region are fully protected.

Yu Jianhua, the head of China's Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), speaks at the Human Rights Progress in Xinjiang conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. [Photo: China Plus]

Yu Jianhua, the head of China's Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), speaks at the Human Rights Progress in Xinjiang conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. [Photo: China Plus]

Yu attributed Xinjiang's prosperity and stability to the government's efforts in fighting against terrorism and extremism. "Xinjiang has adopted a series of anti-terrorism and anti-extremism measures, including the establishment of vocational education and training centers, in a bid to educate and help a small number of people who are eroded and affected by extremism to prevent them from becoming future perpetrators and victims of terrorism." He said that China's work in Xinjiang provides an example for the international community on how to carry out anti-terrorism and anti-extremism work.

Li Changlin, a professor at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, who has visited Xinjiang many times, said that the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang are run according to legal procedures, and are effective measures to eradicate terrorism and extremism. Fighting terrorism according to law, protecting human rights, forbidding discrimination, and addressing both the symptoms and root cause of terrorism are important tasks for China, said Li.

Nearly 200 diplomats from over 70 countries, along with officials from international organizations and representatives from non-governmental organizations were present at the event. Some of the foreign diplomats in attendance had recently visited Xinjiang, including representatives from Cuba, Russia, and Belarus.

Vadim Pisarevich, the deputy permanent representative to the UNOG for Belarus, considers Xinjiang's vocational education and training centers as beneficial to the region's development. "I think these schools are more than vocational skills training centers, but can be called life skills training institutions, since not only vocational training, but also psychological and social training are offered there. The concept is to educate young people and teach them specific social skills such as thinking, resisting stress, solving problems, and personal communication skills, in order to assist them shape their lives and meet future challenges. There have been no terrorist acts in the Xinjiang region in the past two years, which means these centers are beneficial to the region. I hope this trend will continue," he said.

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