“Canada is not powerless”: Statement from Green Party of Canada Leader Annamie Paul on the Genocide against the Uyghur and Muslim minorities in China

OTTAWA - The Green Party of Canada believes that there is an ongoing genocide being perpetrated against the Uyghur and other Muslim minorities by the Chinese government. Under international law, if a State is aware of a serious risk that a genocide is occurring or might occur, it must do everything within its power to prevent the genocide from taking place. 

In the case of the genocide against the Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in China, Canada has a legal responsibility to:

(a)   Strongly condemn and raise international awareness of the direct evidence regarding the ongoing genocide;

(b)   Convene with international allies to explore all options for bringing China back into compliance with international law, including the use of all available diplomatic and economic mechanisms; and 

(c)   Consider which unilateral actions Canada should additionally undertake to secure China's compliance with international law;

"Canada is not powerless," said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. "We acknowledge that we are faced with a daunting situation, in that the perpetrator is a permanent Security Council member and a global superpower. Nevertheless, this should not deter us from defending the most vulnerable. The greater the power of the perpetrator, the greater our resolve should be as a country, and as part of the global community, to respond."

A unified call from our Parliament for the relocation of the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing would be a first step – the Green Party was the first party to call for such a relocation last week. Actively exploring the feasibility of hosting those Olympics and offering Canada as a potential alternative venue is another. Canada can also consider prohibiting imports from Xinjiang, and imposing targeted sanctions on those responsible for the violations there - measures that are currently being considered in a Bill before the United States Congress.

"Canada has a history of mobilising international allies to end atrocities, as we did with the Kimberley Process. There is nothing to prevent us from showing such leadership again," said Ms. Paul.

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Rosie Emery

Press Secretary