Press Release: URAP Calls for Action to Address on Uyghur Refugee


For Immediate Release

June 20, 2022

On this World Refugee Day, June 20 the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP) calls upon the Government of Canada (GOC) to fulfill its moral duty and honor the will of Canadians expressed by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade “to create an exceptional refugees stream to expedite entry into Canada for Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in need of protection”. 

URAP has been advocating on behalf of Uyghur refugees stranded in the third-party states and urged  the Government of Canada to act upon it.

On April 2022 the Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) called upon the Government to

  1. a) extend existing special immigration measures to Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, including the expansion of biometrics collection capabilities in third countries and the issuance of Temporary Resident Permits and single journey travel documents to those without a passport;
  2. b) allow displaced Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in third countries, who face risk of detention and deportation back to China, to seek refuge in Canada;
  3. c) waive the UNHCR refugee determination;

According to the findings of the Wilson Center close to 1,500 Uyghurs from 23 different states were confirmed to be refouled to China. Uyghur and other native Turkic-speaking people of East Turkistan face unprecedented transnational repression by CCP (Chinese Communist Party) and confronted deportation from the states dependent on China. The dire situation of the Uyghur refugees is unique in a sense that China is the only state actively seeking the repatriation of its citizens who have fled overseas.

URAP and many more Canadian NGOs are hopeful our government will take concrete actions to ease suffering of Uyghur refugees facing deportation and uncertainty. We remind our government, Canada as a state which has fathered 1994 “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, has the legal duty to “to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. In this context, we are prepared to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case-by-case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

On this World Refugee Day, we recall our Government it is moral and legal duty to protect Uyghur and other natives of East Turkistan who have fled from the ongoing Genocide perpetrated by China. Canada must live up to its declared values.

For further contact

Mehmet Tohti

Executive Director/ Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project


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