Photo Source: © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
Photo Source: © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Global call for international human rights monitoring mechanisms on China

9 September 2020

An open letter to: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, UN Member States

We, the undersigned organizations, join together to call for an international mechanism to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations, and urge you to take decisive action to achieve this goal.

On 26 June 2020, an unprecedented 50 United Nations experts called for “decisive measures to protect fundamental freedoms in China.” They highlighted China’s mass human rights violations in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang, suppression of information in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, and attacks on rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and critics of the government across the country.

Our organizations are also concerned about the impact of China’s rights violations world-wide. China has targeted human rights defenders abroad, suppressed academic freedom in countries around the world, and engaged in internet censorship and digital surveillance. We deplore China’s promotion of rights-free development and the ensuing environmental degradation at the hands of government-backed extractive industries, as well as the racist treatment of people in China, or by Chinese state actors in other parts of the world.

We are dismayed at China’s efforts to distort the mandate of the UN Human Rights Council by promoting “cooperation” over accountability, and opposing initiatives to bring scrutiny of serious rights violations and international crimes in countries around the world. It has used its seat on the UN’s NGO Committee to baselessly deny accreditation to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), while accrediting government-organized NGOs (GoNGOs). It has sought to deny access to human rights defenders to UN premises, denounced speakers on NGO side events as “terrorists,” and threatened delegates to deter them from attending UN side events on rights violations, including abuses in Xinjiang.

When the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Procedures, and dozens of states urged China to comply with international human rights standards, China contended that they were “improper remarks” that “grossly interfered” with China’s sovereignty.

A state that tries to hold itself above any kind of scrutiny presents a fundamental threat to human rights. That China—a state with extraordinary global power—expects such treatment affects us all.

We therefore endorse the call by UN experts for a Special Session of the Human Rights Council to evaluate the range of violations by China’s government, and to establish an impartial and independent UN mechanism to closely monitor, analyze, and report annually on that topic. We urge the UN Secretary-General to appoint a Special Envoy, consistent with his Call to Action on Human Rights, and we call on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to fulfil her independent mandate to monitor and publicly report on China’s sweeping rights violations. We support the call that UN member states and UN agencies use all interactions with Chinese authorities to insist that the government comply with its international human rights obligations.

We write in the spirit of global solidarity and partnership, urging that you act swiftly to counter and remediate grave human rights violations committed by Chinese authorities. No state should be above the law.


1. 21Wilberforce
2. ACAT Belgium
3. ACAT Germany (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture)
4. ACAT-France (action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture)
5. ACAT-Switzerland
6. Acceso a la Justicia
7. Access Now
8. Acción Solidaria
9. Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture au Burundi(Acat-Burundi)
11. Adivasi-Koordination in Germany
12. African Law Foundation (AFRILAW)
13. AfricanDefenders (Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network)
14. Agir ensemble pour les droits de l’Homme
15. Agora Society Malaysia
16. Alliance Canada Hong Kong
17. Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme
18. ALTSEAN-Burma
19. Amnesty International
20. Amsterdam stands with Hong Kong
21. Arab Watch Regional Coalition
22. ARTICLE 19
23. Asia Democracy Network (ADN)
24. Asia Pacific Permanent Peace Alliance
25. Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
26. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
27. Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
28. Asian Solidarity Council for Freedom and Democracy
29. Asociación Civil Fuerza, Unión, Justicia, Solidaridad y Paz (FUNPAZ)
30. Asohorizonte
31. Australia Tibet Council
32. Australian Centre for International Justice
33. Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
34. Australian Uyghur Association
35. Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales
36. Benteng Heritage Musrum
37. Body & Data
38. Building Inclusive Society Tanzania Organization (BISTO).
40. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
41. Cambodia Center for Human Rights
42. Cambodian Alliance of Trade Union [CATU]
43. Cameroon Women’s Peace Movement
44. Campaign for Uyghurs
45. Canada Tibet Committee (CTC)
46. Canada-Hong Kong Link
47. CAN-Myanmar
48. Central Taiwan Society
49. Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo SJ” (CSMM)
50. Centro de Justicia y Paz – Cepaz
51. Centro para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos Universidad Central de Venezuela
52. ChangSha FuNeng
53. China Aid
54. China Change
55. China Constitutional Democracy Promotion Association
56. Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD)
57. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
58. Civilis Derechos Humanos
59. Clean Clothes Campaign
60. Coalition Burkinabé des Défenseurs des Droits Humains ( CBDDH)
61. Coalition des Defenseurs Des Droits Humais (Benin)CDDH-Benin
62. Coalition for Genocide Response
63. Coalition Togolaise des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CTDDH)
64. COC Nederland
65. Comité Permanente de Derechos Humanos – ACUEM
66. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
67. COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peacebuilding
68. Conectas Direitos Humanos
69. CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
70. DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
71. Defensa en Accion
72. Défenseur des droits de l’Homme au Niger
73. Democracy China Media
74. Dialogue China
75. Droits Humains Sans Frontières
76. East Turkistan Australian Association
77. ECPM
78. Endorois Welfare Council
79. Espacio Público
80. EXCUBITUS Derechos Humanos en Educacion
81. Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)
82. Fédération Euro-méditerranéenne contre les disparitions forcées
83. Federation for a Democratic China 民主中国陣線
85. FIDH
86. FOVIDA – Fomento de la Vida
87. Frankfurt Stands With Hong Kong
88. Free Tibet
89. Freedom House
90. Fridays for Future, PCT
91. Friends of Beanstalk Association, Taiwan
92. Friends of Canada India
93. Friends of Tibet – Austria
94. Friends of Tibet (NZ)
95. Front Line Defenders
97. Fundacion Aguaclara
98. Fundación La Tortuga
99. Fundación Prodefensa del Derecho a la Educación y la Niñez
100. Fundaciónpara el Debido Proceso Fundepro
101. Fundaval
102. Ghjtrn для трансгендерных людей и их близких T*Revers
104. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
105. Global Justice Center
106. Global Pinoy Diaspora Canada
107. Green Advocates International
108. Groupe de Recherche et de Plaidoyer sur les Industries Extractives (GRPIE)
109. Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete-Portugal
110. Halifax Hong Kong Link
111. Hanbyun (Lawyers for Human Rights and Unification of Korea)
112. Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
113. Hong Kong Affairs Association of Berkeley
114. Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC)
115. Hong Kong Global Connect
116. Hong Kong Watch
117. HRIC
118. Human Rights Defenders Network-SL
119. Human Rights First
120. Human Rights Foundation (Japan) 【日本人権財団】
121. Human Rights in China
122. Human Rights Watch
123. Human Rights Without Frontiers International
124. Humanists International
125. Humanitarian China
126. Humanity Beyond Borders
127. ICNA Council for Social Justice
128. Illa Centro de Educación y Comunicación
129. In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)
130. Independ Journalist Association of Vietnam
131. India Alliance for Child Rights
132. Institut des Médias pour la Démocratie et les Droits de l’Homme (IM2DH)
133. Institute for Asian Democracy
134. Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
135. International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute
136. International Campaign for the Rohingya
137. International Campaign for Tibet
138. International Coalition for Papua
139. International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
140. International Commission of Jurists
141. International Society for Human Rights, Munich
142. International Tibet Network
143. ISHR
144. Japan Uyghur Association
145. Japan Uyghur Union
146. Judicial Reform Foundation
147. Justice Access Point Uganda
148. Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE)
149. Karapatan Alliance Philippines
150. KontraS (The Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of Violence)
151. Lady Liberty Hong Kong
152. Lawyers for Lawyers
153. Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
154. Le Comité pour la liberté à Hong Kong
155. Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany LSVD
156. LGBT social movement “REVERS”
157. Liberty and Democracy Advocacy Club University of Calgary
158. Liên Đoàn Công Giáo Việt Nam tại Đức
159. Logos ID
160. MAFAPO ( madres de los falsos positivos de colombia)
161. Mazingira Network – Tanzania (MANET)
162. Meru youth empowerment centre
163. Miloon Kothari individually as an independent expert and former UN Special Rapporteur
164. MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee
165. Minority Rights Group International
166. Monitor Social A.C.
167. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
168. Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme
169. Movimiento Manuela Ramos
170. Ms. Enakshi Ganguly individually as an independent expert
171. MUHURI (Muslims for Human Rights)
172. Nafas LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance
173. Nako cc
174. Namibia Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA)
175. National Party of Japan
176. Netherlands for Hong Kong
178. No Business With Genocide
180. Northern California Hong Kong Club
181. NY4HK ( New Yorkers Supporting Hong Kong )
184. Otus Books
185. Pacific Human Rights Initiative
186. PEN America
187. People Go Network
188. People’s Watch
189. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
190. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
191. Philippine Human Rights Information Center
192. Planet Ally
193. Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea)
194. Progressive Voice
196. PSCORE (People for Successful COrean REunification)
197. Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
198. Red Corpora en Libertad
199. Red de Activistas Ciudadanos por los Derechos Humanos (Redac)
200. René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights
201. Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF)
202. Réseau International des Droits Humains RIDH
203. Réseau Ouest Africain des Défenseurs des Droits Humains/West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network
204. Réseau Saharaius
205. Rights and Security International
206. RUDM
208. Safeguard Defenders
209. Save Our Borneo
210. Save Tibet Austria
211. Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace
212. SFT Japan
213. Society for Threatened Peoples – Germany
214. Solidarité Chine
215. Solidarity Sisters Network of Liberia (SoSNoL)
217. Sounds of the Silenced
218. Southern Africa Human Rights. Defenderss Network- SAHRDN
219. Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) Uganda
220. Southern Mongolia Congress
221. Sova Center for Information and Analysis
222. Stand with HK@JPN
223. Students For a Free Tibet- India
224. Sustainable Holistic Development Foundation (SUHODE)
225. Taiwan Kenkyu Rondan 台湾研究フォーラム
226. Tanzania Human Rights Defenders’s Coalition
227. Tata Trusts
228. The Lesbian and Gay Association of Liberia (LEGAL)
229. The Rights Practice
230. The Society to Help Returnees to North Korea
231. The Tibet Support Committee, Denmark
232. Think Differently Center
233. Tibet Committee of Fairbanks, Alaska and Alaskans for Tibet
234. Tibet Justice Center
235. Tibet Support Group Ireland
236. TOHKnews
237. Toronto Association for Democracy in China
238. Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG)
239. T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
240. UCV
241. Una Ventana a la Libertad
242. United Belize Advocacy Movement
243. University of Waterloo Lion Rock Spirit
244. Uyghur Association of Victoria, Australia
245. Uyghur Human Rights Project
246. Uyghur Projects Foundation
247. Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund
248. Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
249. VAJ Vietnamese Association in Japan
250. Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement
251. Vancouver Society of Freedom, Democracy & Human Rights for China
252. Vancouverites Concerned About Hong Kong
253. Verein für sozial-ökologischen Wandel
254. VETO! Human Rights Defenders’ Network
255. Viet Tan
256. Vietnam Human Rights Network
257. Visual Artists Guild
258. Wanawake Tanzania Tunaweza (Tanzania Women We Can)
259. Witness Radio – Uganda
260. Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society
261. Women’s March Global
262. Working Group on India and the UN (WGHR)
263. World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy
264. World Uyghur Congress
265. Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI) / Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation
266. yBy Media
267. Young Queer Alliance
268. Youth Empowerment and Development Association-sierra
269. Комитет “Гражданское содействие”
270. Московская Хельсинкская группа
271. Правозащитный совет Санкт-Петербурга
272. Сахаровский Центр
273. チベット問題を考える会 Japan Committee for Tibet
274. مرصد الصحراء للسلم والديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان
275. 台灣南社
276. 台灣客社
277. 【台灣民間支援香港協會】 Taiwanese Civil Aid to HKers
278. 國會調查兵團
279. 日本ウイグル協会
280. 華人基督徒公義團契 Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness
281. 香港黎明, Dawn of Hong Kong, 香港の夜明け

*Signatories totaled 321 organizations. However, 39 organizations chose to remain anonymous.

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect


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