China: Uighur women reportedly sterilized in attempt to suppress population

China: Uighur women reportedly sterilized in attempt to suppress population
An ethnic Uighur woman hugs her son as she stands outside her house with her daughter and neighbors at an old residential area of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, July 22, 2012.
Picture credits: Rooney Chen, Reuters

Several countries have this week condemned China over reports it systematically and forcibly sterilized Uighur minority women in Xinjiang province.

China is forcing women to be sterilised or fitted with contraceptive devices in Xinjiang in an apparent attempt to limit the population of Muslim Uighurs, according to new research. The report, by China scholar Adrian Zenz, has prompted international calls for the United Nations to investigate. China denies the allegations in the report, calling them “baseless”. It has previously denied the existence of the camps, before defending them as a necessary measure against terrorism, following separatist violence in the Xinjiang region.

What’s in the report?
Mr Zenz’s report was based on a combination of official regional data, policy documents and interviews with ethnic minority women in Xinjiang. It alleges that Uighur women and other ethnic minorities are being threatened with internment in the camps for refusing to abort pregnancies that exceed birth quotas. It also says women who had fewer than the two children legally permitted were involuntarily fitted with intra-uterine devices (IUDs), while others were coerced into receiving sterilisation surgeries. According to Mr Zenz’s analysis of the data, natural population growth in Xinjiang has declined dramatically in recent years, with growth rates falling by 84% in the two largest Uighur prefectures between 2015 and 2018 and declining further in 2019.

“This kind of drop is unprecedented, there’s ruthlessness to it,” Mr Zenz told the Associated Press. “This is part of a wider control campaign to subjugate the Uighurs.”

Former detainees in internment camps in Xinjiang said they were given injections that stopped their periods, or caused unusual bleeding consistent with the effects of birth control drugs.

This gross Human Rights violation is being condemned world over but the real questions are- What can the global community do in putting an end to these reported violations of minorities? And how long will this global response take? The most frightening part of this scenario is that what we know is a drop in the ocean- having emerged from leaked reports and investigative journalism. However, there is little doubt left about the truth on China’s “re-education” camps and such gross violations cannot and should not be tolerated by the human race.

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Article compiled by: Antika Priyadarshi, Intern HRDI