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World Children’s Day: Belgium condemns China’s forced assimilation schooling for Tibetan children

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(TibetanReview.net, Nov20’23) – As China continues its propaganda drive to dismiss well-documented reports, including by the United Nations, that it is carrying out an acculturation schooling system for Tibetan children in their occupied homeland, the Belgian parliament has issued a statement on Nov 20, condemning the practice.

Marking the World Children’s Day, President Ms Els Van Hoof of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Representatives of the Belgian Federal Parliament has issued a statement, condemning the forced assimilation of one million Tibetan children in Chinese state-run boarding schools separated from their families.

Calling the policy, a violation of international human rights, she has called the boarding schools “just the latest act perpetrated by Beijing on Tibetans with the aim to eradicate Tibetan language, culture, religion and identity.”

The statement expresses regret that the issue is getting too little attention in Europe and said “action is needed in order to prevent a whole generation of Tibetan children to be lost inside the Chinese system.”

President Ms. Els Van Hoof of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Representatives of the Belgian Federal Parliament. (Photo courtesy: KN)

The statement also condemns China for its severe human rights violations in Tibet in other spheres as well, notably pointing out: “Tibetans remains subjected to a highly sophisticated surveillance and monitoring system, even collecting their DNA including from children without proper consent from their parents evidenced by reports from Citizen’s lab, Human Rights Watch etc.”

The statement condemns this action “in the strongest possible terms” and “calls on the PRC authorities to end the coercion of Tibetan children into state-run boarding schools, to cease repressive assimilation policies and to comply with the PRC’s obligations under international law.”

The Chamber of Representatives, which sits in the Palace of the Nation, is Belgium’s primary legislative body, with the Senate functioning only as a meeting place of the federal communities and regions.

The World Children’s Day is dedicated to raising awareness about children’s rights and improving their welfare. It marks the anniversary of two landmark UN documents that enshrine the fundamental rights of children globally – the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified in 1989.

The theme for World Children’s Day 2023 is “For Every Child, Every Right!”

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