Does the Protection of Minority Groups in Xinjiang Fail?

Yordan Gunawan, Yasir Perdana Ritonga, Mita Amelia, Siti Septiana K. Harun, Nisa Nurhofipah Ramadani


Nowadays, many human rights violations related to religion, race or culture exist. In 2018, The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) estimated around two million Uyghur were arrested by the Chinese government without due process of law and forced to accept the political doctrine of the Chinese Communist Party. These actions include physical torture and restrictions on religious freedom. Article 2 of 1948 UDHR stipulates the prohibition of discrimination against race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth, or another status. The paper aims to analyse human rights violations against the Uyghur and legal efforts to protect freedom of human rights for Uyghur in China. Human Rights have been fully regulated by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). By using statutory and case approach, the result shows that the actions taken by the Chinese government have violated legal provisions including the Declaration and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The government of China is also failing to uphold its responsibility to protect.


Chinese Communist Party; Human Rights Violations; UDHR; Uyghur.

Full Text:



Ademola, Abass, International Law; Text, Cases, and Materials (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Bovingdon, Gardner, Autonomy in Xinjiang Han Nationalist Imperatives and Uyghur Discontent (Washington, DC: East-West Center, 2004)

Bruckmayr, Philipp, Kristian Petersen, Hayuman Ma And, and Riss Cuthbert, Historical & Comtemporary Perspective on Islam and Identity in Southeast Asia and China (Herndon: International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), 2006)

Cassese, Antonia, Guido Acquaviva, Mary Fan, and Alex Whitting, International Criminal Law : Cases & Commentary (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)

Chen, Yu-Wen, ‘A Network Approach to the Study of the World Uyghur Congress’ Global Outreach: A Methodological Note’, Journal of Chinese Political Science, 17.1 (2011)

Chung, Chien Peng, ‘China’s War on Terror: September 11 and Uighur Separatism’, Foreign Affairs, 8.4 (2002)

Clarke, Michael, ‘China, Xinjiang and the Internationalization of the Uyghur Issue’, Global Change, Peace and Security, 22.2 (2010), 213

Evans, Gareth, The Responsibility to Protect (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2008)

Garwood-Gowers, Andrew, ‘China’s ’responsible Protection’ Concept: Reinterpreting the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Military Intervention for Humanitarian Purposes’, Asian Journal of International Law, 6.1 (2016)

Glendon, Mary Ann, ‘Knowing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, Notre Dame Law Review, 73.5 (1998), 1153

Gunawan, Yordan, ‘Responsibility of People’s Republic of China for Minority Based on ICERD: Uyghur Case’, Varia Justicia, 15.2 (2019), 65

Hyers, Eric, ‘China’s Policy towards Uighur Nationalism’, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 26.1 (2006), 75–86

Kaltman, Blaine, Under the Heel of the Dragon: Islam, Racism, Crime, and the Uighur in China (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007)

Lilleby, Caroline Syversen. The Right to Freedom of Expression in China and the West: China’s Right to a Cultural Specific Freedom of Expression Orientation (Norway: Norwegia University of Life Science, 2016)

Liukkunen, Ulla, Fundamental Labour Rights in China - Legal Implementation and Cultural Logic (Cham: Springer International Publishing A G, 2015)

Meron, Theodor, ‘The Meaning and Reach of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination’, Cambridge University Press, 79.2 (1985)

Naidoo, Kumi, Undermining Freedom of Expression in China: The Role of Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google (London: Amnesty International UK, 2006)

Negriff, Liza, The Past, Present, and Future of Freedom of Speech and Expression in the People’s Republic of China (Denver: University Denver, 2009)

Nickles, James, Making Sense of Human Right (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007)

Nurhidayatuloh & Febrian, ‘ASEAN and European Human Rights Mechanisms, What Should Be Improved?’, Padjadjaran Journal of Law, 6.1 (2019), 151–67

Nurhidayatuloh, N, F Febrian, Achmad Romsan, Annalisa Yahanan, Martinus Sardi, and Fatimatuz Zuhro, ‘Forsaking Equality: Examine Indonesia’s State Responsibility on to the Marriage Rights in CEDAW’, Jurnal Dinamika Hukum, 2018

Orford, Anne, International Authority and the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Paris, Roland, ‘The “Responsibility to Protect” and the Structural Problems of Preventive Humanitarian Intervention’, International Peacekeeping, 21.5 (2014)

Qianfan, Zhang, The Constitution of China: A Contextual Analysis (Oxford: Hard Publishing, 2012)

Rayila, M., ‘The Pain of a Nation: The Invisibility of Uyghurs in China Proper’, The Equal Rights Review, 6.47 (2011)

Seymour, James D., and Patrick Yuk-tung Wong, ‘China and the International Human Rights Covenants’, Critical Asian Studies, 47.4 (2015), 514

Shaw, Marcolm N., International Law, Eight Ed (Cambridge: Universisty of Cambridge Press, 2017)

Taris, Hashfi, ‘The Responsibility of the People’s Republic of China for Alleged Human Rights Violations against the Uighurs’, Padjajaran Jurnal Ilmu Hukum, 6.3 (2020), 619

Tobing, Rudyanti Dorotea, ‘Prevention of Child Marriage Age in the Perspective of Human Rights’, Sriwijaya Law Review, 2.1 (2018), 1–17

Woodman, Sophia, ‘Human Rights As “Foreign Affairs”: China’s Reporting Under Human Rights Treaties’, Hong Kong Law Journal, 35.1 (2005), 179

Yahya, Harun, Communist China’s Policy of Oppression in East Turkestan (Istanbul: Global Publishing, 2004)

Zenz, Adrian, ‘Thoroughly Reforming Them Towards A Healthy Heart Attitude: China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang’, Central Asian Survey, 38.1 (2019), 102

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948.

The1963 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The 1982 Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

BBC. 2018. China Uighurs: Xinjiang legalises 're-education' camps. Available from: [retrieved: December 23th, 2019].

BBC. 2018. Why Do Tensions Continue to Occur between the Chinese Government and the Uyghur. Available from: [retrieved: December 18th, 2019].

Bhattacharji Preeti. 2009. Uighurs and China’s Xinjiang Region. Available from: [retrieved: December 17th, 2019].

China Daily. 2009. Fatalities may climb in Urumqi. Available from:, [retrieved: December 23th, 2019].

Daisuke Shirane. 2011. ICERD and CERD: A Guide for Civil Society Actors. The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR). [Online] Available from:, [retrieved: January 7th, 2020].

Global Center fo Responsibility to Protect. 2019. The Persecution of the Uyghurs and Potential Crimes against Humanity in China. Available from: media/files/2019-april-uighurs-brief.pdf. [retrieved: December 20th, 2019].

Human Right Watch. 2018. "Eradicating Ideological Viruses” China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims. Available from: report/2018/09/09/eradicating-ideological-viruses/chinas-campaign-repression-against-xinjiangs [retrieved: December 16th, 2019].

Human Rights Watch. 2018. Submission to the CERD Review of China: 96th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Available from: https://www. [retrieved: January 7th, 2020].

ICRtoP. 2005. Ban Ki Moon explained the 3 pillars of R2P in the 2005 World Summit. Available from: 398-generalassembly-r2p-excerpt-from-outcome-document [retrieved: July 10th, 2020].

N.P. Conception. 2004. Human Rights Violations against Muslim in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of Western China. Available from: https://digitalcommons.wcl. [retrieved: December 17th, 2019].

Rukiye Turdush. 2018. China is Trying to Erase the Uighurs and Their Culture. Available from: 5613937.html [retrieved: December 22th, 2019].

Shih Gerry. 2017. In Western China, thought police Instill fear. Available from:, [retrieved: December 17th, 2019].

The Independent. 2018. Chinese 're-education camps' for Uighur Muslims run like 'concentration camps'. Available from: world/asia/china-muslims-re-education-camps-amnesty-uighur-religion-human-rights-watch-a8678156.html. [retrieved: December 16th, 2019].

United Nations Treaty Collection. 2019. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Available from [retrieved: January, 7th, 2020].

Wong Edward. 2017. Western China Region Aims to Track People by Requiring Car Navigation. Available from [retrieved: December 17th, 2019].

World Uyghur Congress. 2005. Who We Are. Available from: https://www. [retrieved: December 26th, 2019].

World Uyghur Congress. 2014. Report on Human Rights Violant in East Turkestan. Available from: [retrieved: July 10th, 2020].

World Uyghur Congress. 2012. World Uyghur Congress. Available from: https://www. [retrieved: July 10th, 2020].

World Uyghur Congress. 2015. World Uyghur Congress and Uyghur Human Rights Project, Alternatives Report Submission to The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) In Consideration of CAT/C/CHN/5-56th Session 9 November 2015 - 9 December 2015. Available from: [retrieved: July 10th, 2020].



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License

Sriwijaya Law Review (SLRev) ISSN: 2541-5298 | e-ISSN: 2541-6464 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

SLRev has been indexed by:
View full indexing services
SLRev Member of :                                    Plagiarism Detection by: