[Joint Open Letter] China: Global call for international human rights monitoring mechanisms on China
10 September 2020 3:20 pm

Global call for international human rights monitoring mechanisms on China

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


We, the undersigned organisations, 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).
  39. CADAL
  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
  1. Fundaciónpara el Debido Proceso Fundepro
  2. Fundaval
  3. Ghjtrn для трансгендерных людей и их близких T*Revers
  5. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  6. Global Justice Center
  7. Global Pinoy Diaspora Canada
  8. Green Advocates International
  9. Groupe de Recherche et de Plaidoyer sur les Industries Extractives (GRPIE)
  10. Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete-Portugal
  11. Halifax Hong Kong Link
  12. Hanbyun (Lawyers for Human Rights and Unification of Korea)
  13. Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
  14. Hong Kong Affairs Association of Berkeley
  15. Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC)
  16. Hong Kong Global Connect
  17. Hong Kong Watch
  18. HRIC
  19. Human Rights Defenders Network-SL
  20. Human Rights First
  21. Human Rights Foundation (Japan) 【日本人権財団】
  22. Human Rights in China
  23. Human Rights Watch
  24. Human Rights Without Frontiers International
  25. Humanists International
  26. Humanitarian China
  27. Humanity Beyond Borders
  28. ICNA Council for Social Justice
  29. Illa Centro de Educación y Comunicación
  30. In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)
  31. Independ Journalist Association of Vietnam
  32. India Alliance for Child Rights
  33. Institut des Médias pour la Démocratie et les Droits de l’Homme (IM2DH)
  34. Institute for Asian Democracy
  35. Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
  36. International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute
  37. International Campaign for the Rohingya
  38. International Campaign for Tibet
  39. International Coalition for Papua
  40. International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
  41. International Commission of Jurists
  42. International Society for Human Rights, Munich
  43. International Tibet Network
  44. ISHR
  45. Japan Uyghur Association
  46. Japan Uyghur Union
  47. Judicial Reform Foundation
  48. Justice Access Point Uganda
  49. Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE)
  50. Karapatan Alliance Philippines
  51. KontraS (The Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of Violence)
  52. Lady Liberty Hong Kong
  53. Lawyers for Lawyers
  54. Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
  55. Le Comité pour la liberté à Hong Kong
  56. Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany LSVD
  57. LGBT social movement “REVERS”
  58. Liberty and Democracy Advocacy Club University of Calgary
  59. Liên Đoàn Công Giáo Việt Nam tại Đức
  60. Logos ID
  61. MAFAPO ( madres de los falsos positivos de colombia)
  62. Mazingira Network – Tanzania (MANET)
  63. Meru youth empowerment centre
  64. Miloon Kothari individually as an independent expert and former UN Special Rapporteur
  65. MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee
  66. Minority Rights Group International
  67. Monitor Social A.C.
  68. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
  69. Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme
  70. Movimiento Manuela Ramos
  71. Enakshi Ganguly individually as an independent expert
  72. MUHURI (Muslims for Human Rights)
  73. Nafas LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance
  74. Nako cc
  75. Namibia Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA)
  76. National Party of Japan
  77. Netherlands for Hong Kong
  79. No Business With Genocide
  80. NO FENCE
  81. Northern California Hong Kong Club
  82. NY4HK ( New Yorkers Supporting Hong Kong )
  85. Otus Books
  86. Pacific Human Rights Initiative
  87. PEN America
  88. People Go Network
  89. People’s Watch
  90. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
  91. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
  92. Philippine Human Rights Information Center
  93. Planet Ally
  94. Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea)
  95. Progressive Voice
  97. PSCORE (People for Successful COrean REunification)
  98. Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
  99. Red Corpora en Libertad
  100. Red de Activistas Ciudadanos por los Derechos Humanos (Redac)
  101. René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights
  102. Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF)
  103. Réseau International des Droits Humains RIDH
  104. Réseau Ouest Africain des Défenseurs des Droits Humains/West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network
  105. Réseau Saharaius
  106. Rights and Security International
  107. RUDM
  109. Safeguard Defenders
  110. Save Our Borneo
  111. Save Tibet Austria
  112. Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace
  113. SFT Japan
  114. Society for Threatened Peoples – Germany
  115. Solidarité Chine
  116. Solidarity Sisters Network of Liberia (SoSNoL)
  118. Sounds of the Silenced
  119. Southern Africa Human Rights. Defenderss Network- SAHRDN
  120. Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) Uganda
  121. Southern Mongolia Congress
  122. Sova Center for Information and Analysis
  123. Stand with HK@JPN>
  124. Students For a Free Tibet- India
  125. Sustainable Holistic Development Foundation (SUHODE)
  126. Taiwan Kenkyu Rondan 台湾研究フォーラム
  127. Tanzania Human Rights Defenders’s Coalition
  128. Tata Trusts
  129. The Lesbian and Gay Association of Liberia (LEGAL)
  130. The Rights Practice
  131. The Society to Help Returnees to North Korea
  132. The Tibet Support Committee, Denmark
  133. Think Differently Center
  134. Tibet Committee of Fairbanks, Alaska and Alaskans for Tibet
  135. Tibet Justice Center
  136. Tibet Support Group Ireland
  137. TOHKnews
  138. Toronto Association for Democracy in China
  139. Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG)
  140. T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
  141. UCV
  142. Una Ventana a la Libertad
  143. United  Belize Advocacy Movement
  144. University of Waterloo Lion Rock Spirit
  145. Uyghur Association of Victoria, Australia
  146. Uyghur Human Rights Project
  147. Uyghur Projects Foundation
  148. Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund
  149. Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
  150. VAJ Vietnamese Association in Japan
  151. Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement
  152. Vancouver Society of Freedom, Democracy & Human Rights for China
  153. Vancouverites Concerned About Hong Kong
  154. Verein für sozial-ökologischen Wandel
  155. VETO! Human Rights Defenders’ Network
  156. Viet Tan
  157. Vietnam Human Rights Network
  158. Visual Artists Guild
  159. Wanawake Tanzania Tunaweza (Tanzania Women We Can)
  160. Witness Radio – Uganda
  161. Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society
  162. Women’s March Global
  163. Working Group on India and the UN (WGHR)
  164. World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy
  165. World Uyghur Congress
  166. Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI) / Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation
  167. yBy Media
  168. Young Queer Alliance
  169. Youth Empowerment and Development Association-sierra
  170. Комитет “Гражданское содействие”
  171. Московская Хельсинкская группа
  172. Правозащитный совет Санкт-Петербурга
  173. Сахаровский Центр
  174. チベット問題を考える会 Japan Committee for Tibet
  175. مرصد الصحراء للسلم والديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان
  176. 台灣南社
  177. 台灣客社
  178. 【台灣民間支援香港協會】 Taiwanese Civil Aid to HKers
  179. 國會調查兵團
  180. 日本ウイグル協会
  181. 華人基督徒公義團契 Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness
  182. 香港黎明, Dawn of Hong Kong, 香港の夜明け

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


Please click here for a pdf version of this letter.