It seems that genocide is still a thing. And almost no one is talking about it

Photo by Nuno Alberto on Unsplash

We thought that concentration camps were something of the past. But they’re not. They’re still very alive.

Around two million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been placed in “reeducation camps”.

Uyghur women report having been subject to forced birth control, as China attempts to reduce the birth rate of this group in an attempt to suppress the Muslim population.

China has also separated the kids from this minority from their parents.

In these reeducation camps, Uyghurs are forced to criticize Islam and swear loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.

The worst: this situation has been going on for five years now, almost completely unnoticed.

Fortunately, some media and international organizations are shedding some light on the situation, despite the constant monitoring of journalists in the region.

Recently, an independent report has classified China’s actions as genocide (CNN).

Genocide is prohibited by international law (its prohibition is considered universal: ius cogens).

But, it’s also prohibited by the UN Genocide Convention, from which China is a party, and hence, binding to them.

The report considered China’s actions as genocide because “China’s policies and practices targeting Uyghurs in the region must be viewed in their totality, which amounts to an intent to destroy the Uyghurs as a group, in whole or in part”.

I know. I’m not a news reporter. But, I decided to speak up about this, hoping that someone that doesn’t know what’s going on finds this and shares it with others.

My hopes are to see many social media pages filled with solidarity towards the Uyghurs. People sharing what is happening with friends and family. Maybe, with more media coverage, change can happen.

But, there’s something more we can do in an attempt to change this(besides talking about it).

In an opinion article, written in Observador, a Portuguese newspaper, Abel Tavares talks about how Nike, Apple and Coca Cola (to name a few) have been lobbying to weaken a law called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, whose purpose is to prohibit imports of products made from forced labour in China.

Disney has also thanked China heavily for letting them film Mulan on the location of those reeducation camps.

These brands we all love are in fact supporting the genocide of the Uyghur population. They put on a veil of being socially aware brands, but only if it’s a trending topic. If it’s not, they don’t mind supporting genocide.

But, Abel Tavares argues that, once we know what’s going on we can do something. We as consumers can do something about this. We can stop promoting these brands, stop buying from them. I’m in on that. What about you?

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