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From Hong Kong To Uighur Muslims, How China Is Violating Human Rights

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In the midst of numerous issues being raised against China, either blamed of withholding the truth for too long while taking WHO into false confidence or expanding its military power by harming the bilateral relations with neighboring countries, China has never laid any controlling factor to avoid the outrage against it.

When the whole world is battling against the deadly coronavirus, an economically and technologically well equipped giant nation like China considers this crisis as an opportunity to reframe ideologies, beliefs and economical or militarily ties.

Experts say it has adopted an “engagement with containment” policy which ensures India to come forward for economic ties, as India majorly depends upon China for better and smooth trade benefits. On the contrary, its stance over the LAC issue, exaggerated and untenable claims remain clear and violent without bothering much about the former one.

Thus, former army personnel quote China as our untrusted neighbor. Nonetheless, most of the countries across the globe possess some human rights which are accountable to treat citizens equally, irrespective of any further bifurcation, and grant them free access to put thoughts if dissent arrives.

Recently, China’s move to impose National Security Law in order to demolish the autonomy of Hong Kong shows its cruelty in violating the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 promising 50 years of autonomy to the city. Critics believe this legislation could be used to quash dissent in the city, such as the ongoing pro-democracy protests there.

 

The US and the UK have strongly protested China’s recent moves. “It would upend China’s ‘one country, two systems’ paradigm, and it would be a clear violation of China’s international obligations,” British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said on 2 June. Alongside, as China is set to impose its national security law in Hong Kong despite several protests and worldwide condemnation, students and labour unions have started an unofficial referendum among members on whether to stage a walkout. The referendum aims to secure a two-thirds majority to prove their actions, also considered to be the last chance to mobilize people.

1984, a dystopian novel, which talks about a totalitarian form of government, was authored by Gorge Orwell back in 1949. Referencing this particular book makes a story of heavily surveillanced and marginalized Turkic ethnic group, Uighur Muslims, of China’s largest province Xinjiang alive. This province depicts its geopolitical importance in terms of rich natural resources and widely shared border with more than five countries.

Treatment of the Uighur Muslims today by China, poses a serious threat to this large Muslim ethnic minority which were in millions in the 1950s. As alleged, these people are largely persecuted by forcibly criticizing their own Islamic beliefs, reciting Communist Party Propaganda songs for hours each day, also forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam.

People hold placards during a demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy in Jakarta, on December 21, 2018. Photo credit: Afriadi Hikmal/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The emergence of the Islamophobic ideology of China can be traced through this excerpt from an official Communist Party audio recording which was transmitted in 2017 to Uighurs via WeChat:

“Members of the public who have been chosen for re-education have been infected by an ideological illness. They have been infected with religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology, and therefore, they must seek treatment from a hospital as an inpatient… The religious extremist ideology is a type of poisonous medicine, which confuses the mind of the people… If we do not eradicate religious extremism at its roots, the violent terrorist incidents will grow and spread all over like an incurable malignant tumor.”

In mid May this year Aljazeera reported that “The US Senate has approved a bill calling on President Donald Trump’s administration to toughen it’s response to China’s crackdown on the Uighur Muslim minority, calls for ‘visa and property-blocking’ sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for the repression of Uighurs and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang.”

Dr Li Wenliang was the whistleblower who triggered a controversy in China and across the globe by sharing some messages to fellow medics about a “strange new virus”. He was later forced to sign a police document saying he had “seriously disrupted social order” and “breached the law”, before he returned to work at Wuhan Central Hospital where he died of COVID-19 on 7 February. It gave rise to the nationwide outcry with hashtag #wewantfreedomofspeech.

The above briefings demonstrate a certain kind of dynamics with which China tries to rule over its own citizens, violating their human rights, making it a crime to practice freedom of speech within the nation.

The Chinese dragon has been spewing fire so violently in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that it holds a capacity to burn off every obstacle that falls in between its oppressed and harsh behavior. They believe this will lead them on a path to conquer the world and become the world’s biggest and most powerful country by 2025–30.

The exaggerated claims in eastern Ladakh, leading to clashes over unresolved issues on the LAC, artificial islands in the South China Sea, construct a more suspicious model of unstoppable China.

 Mohd. Shahzeb Khan, based in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), pursuing Social Work from Aligarh Muslim University is a Social Activist & currently writing for open media outlets.
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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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