A group of countries will ask this Thursday the International Labor Organization (ILO) to establish a mission for investigate alleged labor excesses in Xinjiang province, in China. Last week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bacheletwas in the Asian country on a historic trip, harshly criticized by member states of the organization.
A committee of the UN body is scheduled to discuss China’s compliance with global labor practices on Thursday, after calling its practices in western China’s Xinjiang province discriminatory in February, ILO documents showed.
If accepted by the ILO committee, the so-called tripartite mission could shed light on allegations that members of Xinjiang’s Muslim Uyghur ethnic group have been illegally detained, mistreated and forced to work. China denies such accusations. The country has been a member of the ILO since 1919 and has ratified many of its legally binding conventions.
The Asian nation will argue during Thursday’s talks that its laws, regulations and practices fully comply with the principles of the Convention on Discrimination that it has ratified, according to its written presentation, three sources close to the matter explained to Reuters, who they declined to be named as the official requests have not yet been made public.
China approved the ratification of two conventions on forced labor in April, but have not yet submitted the complete documentation necessary for them to enter into force. This can often take weeks or months, an ILO official told Reuters. Instead, the future ILO mission would assess China’s practices on the basis of conventions the country has ratified, such as the one on discrimination.