UN Member states and representatives of international human rights organisations have raised concerns over the deteriorating situation in Tibet in the ongoing 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Speaking on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples, UN Advocacy Officer of the Tibet Bureau, Kalden Tsomo, raised China’s mishandling of the pandemic situation in Tibet. She said the “world is gradually recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic”, however, Tibetans in Tibet are undergoing a “Hell on Earth” situation. “Under the guise of Zero-Covid measures, non-infected Tibetans are also forced to stay in quarantine centres (an empty house without beds) with infected patients in absence of any access to basic health amenities”, she continued.
Referring to the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery’s report on forced labor, she highlighted the Special Rapporteur’s finding of arrangements of forced labor in Tibetan areas similar to those in Uyghur areas. “Tibetan farmers, herders and other rural workers are subjected to extensive labor transfer programmes, often underpaid with no space to express grievances”, she said.
She urged the council to call upon China to give timely medical facilities for COVID infected Tibetans; and the council to heed the June 2020 call by over 50 UN independent experts to convene a special session on China.