Canada challenges China for courage to acknowledge its rights problems

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. (Photo courtesy: Reuters/Chris Wattie)

(, Jun24’21) – Criticized for its historical record on the treatment of the country’s indigenous population, Canada has on Jun 24 said it not only acknowledged the problem but was also actively addressing the issue and challenged China do the same with regards to its current, ongoing problems.

China attacked Canada after it presented a joint statement on behalf of 44 democratic countries at the UN Human Right Council in Geneva on Jun 22, expressing grave concern on the human rights situation in Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and China proper.

Canada’s state broadcaster CTV News Jun 22 cited Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as saying his country knew its relationship with indigenous people was broken but that it had a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and was working to try and address the issues. On the other hand, China is not even willing to admit that there is a problem over the numerous human rights abuses against Uyghurs, Trudeau has said.

“Where is China’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Where is their truth? Where is the openness that Canada has always shown, and the responsibility that Canada has taken for the terrible mistakes of the past, and indeed, many of which continue into the present?” Trudeau was quoted as having asked at a news conference outside his Ottawa home Jun 22.

Earlier this month, the mass burial place of 215 indigenous children, aged from three years, was found at the site of a school set up for them, closed in 1978, near the Canadian town of Kamloops. A probe has since been opened into the circumstances and the accountability of these fatalities.

And in response to Canada’s action at the UN Human Rights Council, Jiang Duan, a senior official at China’s mission to the UN in Geneva, demanded an investigation during the meeting. “We are deeply concerned about the human rights violations against the Indigenous people in Canada,” Jiang was quoted as saying.

During her presentation of the joint statement, Leslie E Norton, Canada’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said, “We call on Chinese authorities to abide by their human rights obligations,” referring to the deplorable situation in Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and China proper.


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