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Thursday, 14 December 2023 - Strasbourg
The abduction of Tibetan children and forced assimilation practices through Chinese boarding schools in Tibet

European Parliament resolution of 14 December 2023 on the abduction of Tibetan children and forced assimilation practices through Chinese boarding schools in Tibet (2023/3025(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on China and Tibet,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,

–  having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the Chinese Government has become systematically and ever more oppressive; whereas the human rights situation in Tibet continues to degrade; whereas respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law should be at the centre of the EU’s relations with China;

B.  whereas Chinese authorities have established an expansive system of de facto compulsory, highly politicised boarding schools for children aged 4 to 18, requiring them to undergo mandatory education in Mandarin without any opportunity for substantive study of the Tibetan language, history or culture; whereas approximately 80 % of Tibetan children, totalling around one million, have been separated from their families by this system, which aims to forcibly assimilate them culturally, religiously and linguistically into the Han majority; whereas there are almost no private alternatives to these government schools, which are reportedly heavily surveilled;

C.  whereas UN experts are concerned that Tibetan children are thus suffering from severe psychological and emotional distress, including loneliness and isolation, and are losing the ability to communicate easily in their native language with their families, contributing to the erosion of their individual and social identity, which violates international human rights and may amount to genocide;

1.  Strongly condemns the repressive assimilation policies throughout China, especially the boarding school system in Tibet, that seek to eliminate the distinct linguistic, cultural and religious traditions among Tibetans and other minorities, such as Uyghurs;

2.  Calls for the immediate abolishment of the boarding school system imposed on children in Tibet and the practice of family separations, as highlighted by UN experts in February 2023; further calls on the Chinese authorities to allow the establishment of private Tibetan schools;

3.  Welcomes the US decision imposing restrictions on visas to Chinese officials tied to the boarding school system in Tibet; urges the Member States and the Council to adopt similar targeted sanctions;

4.  Calls on the Member States and the VP/HR to demand that the Chinese Government issue visas to European diplomats to visit boarding schools across Tibet, allow independent journalists and international observers into the region and refrain from spreading fake news;

5.  Recalls the importance of the EU raising the issue of human rights violations in China, particularly the situation in Tibet, at all political and human rights dialogues with the Chinese authorities;

6.  Reiterates its call on the Chinese Government to reengage with the representatives of the 14th Dalai Lama to establish genuine autonomy for Tibetans within China; urges the Chinese authorities to release the Panchen Lama and refrain from interfering in the designation of the Tibetan spiritual leader;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the EU institutions, the United Nations and the Government and Parliament of the People’s Republic of China.

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