The Invisible Uyghur Widows

International Widows Day Campaign for Uyghurs Press Release
For Immediate Release
June 23, 2020 11:30 A.M. EST
Contact: contact@campaignforuyghurs.org
www.campaignforuyghurs.org 

The United Nations recognizes June 23 as International Widows Day, and Campaign for Uyghurs takes today to remember Uyghur widows. In response to the situation of many widows living in complete poverty who often have their human dignity stripped away, the U.N. states this: 

“…governments should take action to uphold their commitments to ensure the rights of widows as enshrined in international law, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Even when national laws exist to protect the rights of widows, weaknesses in the judicial systems of many States compromise how widows’ rights are defended in practice and should be addressed.” 

The statement demands better treatment for widows. But it is useless to make this request while the United Nations continues to ignore the circumstances of the creation of widows. These circumstances are magnified while the U.N. is being silenced by governments hostile to human rights. 

The situation created for Uyghur women in particular is extremely traumatic. Their husbands are taken by the Chinese government to disappear; thrown into concentration camps or used as slaves. There is no way of knowing if they are dead or not. This pain is compounded by the Communist Party’s recruitment of communist party cadres to move into their homes and abuse them in the absence of their husbands. For those who run away or take shelter in other countries, their opportunities are dire indeed. Additionally, China’s appointment to the human rights council panel will result in a complete inability to address the root cause of the problem. This makes truthful calls for justice like these ring hollow. 

We call attention to these Uyghur women, and demand that the United Nations live up to its mission by holding China accountable for its crimes on this International Widows Day. Our cries for justice seem repetitive, and the constant need to request that organizations like the U.N. stand on their principles and not be sold to tyrants, seems more and more abhorrent. Justice demands more. 

 

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