ATC’s political work for Tibet has begun for 2023

Earlier this month, Australia Tibet Council met with the office of Foreign Minister Penny Wong seeking clarification on what human rights issues the Foreign Minister raised during her trip to China in December 2022. They reported that the Foreign Minister spoke with her Chinese counterparts about human rights for around 30 mins and covered concerns about Tibet, Uyghurs, Hong Kong and other issues.

Specifically on Tibet, the Foreign Minister says she raised the lack of religious freedom in Tibet, the lack of language freedom in Tibet, political prisoners and the ongoing intimidation and surveillance that the Tibetan community in Australia have to contend with.

ATC also met with several other parliamentarians to raise the issue of the nearly 1 million Tibetan children who have been separated from their families and put into Chinese Government-run institutions.

Tibetan children are being forced into CCP-run boarding schools, separating them from their family, their religion, their language and traditions in what has been called by the Tibetan Government in Exile as “cultural genocide”.

As Penpa Tsering, the elected Sikyong (Prime Minister), states “Tibetan children are forced to learn Chinese language instead of Tibetan, and its propaganda with the aim to change their mind so that there won’t be any Tibetan in another 15 to 20 years”.

The UN has now also taken notice of this oppressive CCP policy of “acculturation and assimilation of the Tibetan culture” and the Chinese Government’s actions in breach of the Tibetan peoples’ right to freedom of religion and belief, the right to education and cultural rights.

ATC is asking MPs and Senators to support the UN investigation into this issue.

This week, ATC asked the Foreign Minister to work with Australia’s allies at the upcoming G20 meeting in India – where we hope Australia will take the lead on multilateral action to condemn this practice of separating Tibetan children from their families and demand that China shut down these colonial-style boarding schools.

ATC has received positive responses and support for Tibet across the Australian Parliament.