One of the Government’s key tasks as we leave the European Union is to define our country’s role on the world stage. I am committed to ensuring this Government remains focused on tackling human rights atrocities around the world.
Central to this I believe is the creation of a new Atrocity Prevention Unit within the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, to enable us to assess and respond more effectively to instances of gross violations of human rights around the world. An Atrocity Prevention Unit would allow us to identify quickly and objectively the warning signs and evidence of war crimes and genocide. By developing a quick reaction point unit to support these teams, the UK will be able to make the best use of resources and knowledge, respond effectively and comprehensively, and de-escalate and prevent catastrophic loss of life.
I am delighted that in March 2021 the Government announced the creation of a Conflict Centre establishing a unit to tackle atrocity prevention as per my proposal.
Genocide of the Uyghur People and Human Rights in Hong Kong
Since becoming Rutland and Melton’s MP in December 2019, I have done all I can to be a voice for those who others seek to silence. I have been outspoken on the abhorrent treatment of the Uyghur community by the Chinese Communist Party, alongside their flagrant breaches of the people of Hong Kong’s rights.
I secured an inquiry by the Foreign Affairs Committee, of which I am a member, into the treatment of the Uyghur people.
To support the Uyghur people I have called for the Government to:
- Magnitsky sanctions against CCP officials responsible for the genocide against them,
- A boycott of the Winter Olympic games proposed to be held in China,
- Lobby the UN Human Rights Council to establish a special rapporteur on the Uyghur or Minorities in China,
- Create a Foreign Office-funded Security and Justice Fund for Xinjiang to enable the tracing of the missing and collection of evidence for later trials of those responsible,
- Establish improved international controls and monitoring of organ donations,
- Consider options to tackle and clean up supply chains to remove those imports and businesses which use Uyghur slave labour, particularly in textiles, cotton, and clothes. Including a ban on imports from Xinjiang province,
- Challenge social media companies on their censorship of the human rights atrocities being perpetrated,
- Review whether British companies are providing equipment that assists China’s surveillance measures of the Uyghur people and consider banning exports of the technologies.
The UK has a moral and legal duty to support the people of Hong Kong, and I am proud of the significant measures the Government has taken to demonstrate our commitment to the people of Hong Kong and to uphold the international rule of law. I will continue to urge the Government to introduce Magnitsky-style sanctions against those in the Chinese Communist Party and those committing and profiting from, human rights abuses.
I have been a steadfast advocate for a Magnitsky sanctions regime, would allow the UK government to impose asset freezes and travel bans on persons it determines to have committed serious human rights violations. This has now been introduced, and I was pleased that the Government made huge strides in July and introduced sanctions against 49 individuals and organisations in Myanmar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.
NEWS - March 2021, Government Announcement of Sanctions against Perpetrators of Genocide against the Uyghur
The Foreign Secretary’s announcement of sanctions against four individuals responsible for serious human rights abuses and the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps today is absolutely right - and it is right we act as a unified international community against genocide.
Further actions I’d welcome:
- UN Human Rights Council to establish special rapporteur on Uyghur & Minorities in China
- Create a FCDO-funded Security & Justice Fund for Xinjiang to enable tracing of the missing and collection of evidence for later trials of the responsible
- Establish improved international controls & monitoring of organ donations
- Challenge social media firms on the censorship of human rights atrocities being perpetrated
- Review whether British companies are providing equipment that assists China’s surveillance & ban exports
NEWS - March 2021, Conflict Centre Announced in Integrated Review
In the Integrated Defence Review, announced on Tuesday 16th March, the Government announced that a Conflict Centre would be established in the Foreign Office to enhance our values around the world.
I am enormously pleased to see the creation of a new conflict centre for the protection of humanity wherever our values are threatened. I have called for a dedicated unit to address atrocity prevention at the FCDO since I arrived in Parliament and I am absolutely delighted to see this announced.
NEWS - February 2021, Universities Reject CCP Funds
As a result of our inquiry I secured, and our writing to them, the University of Manchester has now announced it will cease a research partnership between the university’s Department of Physics & Astronomy and the China Electronics Technology Corporation (CTEC).
CETC’s technology is used in the Chinese Communist Party’s detention camps and therefore contributes to genocide taking place against the Uyghur and other minorities.
Our Universities must better investigate partners and funding sources, a letter from our Committee should not be the first warning bell that the work of the brightest in our nation is not maliciously deployed to oppress others.
UPDATE - January 2021, Uyghur Inquiry Continues
The Foreign Affairs Committee Inquiry I secured continues - watch some of my contribution here:
UPDATE - October 2020, Foreign Secretary on Uyghur Genocide
Today in a session of my inquiry on the treatment of the Uyghur I asked the Foreign Secretary whether boycotting the Winter Games in 2022 would send a strong message to the Chinese Communist Party.
NEWS - October 2020
I have secured an inquiry by the Foreign Affairs Committee on the atrocities being committed against the Uyghur, and I will sit on the BEIS inquiry into supply chains from Xinjiang.
UPDATE - September 2020
I raised with former Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, the challenge of tackling genocides committed by super-powers and reiterated the need for Magnitsky sanctions against the Uyghur.
UPDATE - July 2020
My article in the Times calling for sanctions for China’s oppression of the Uyghurs.
UPDATE - July 2020
I respond to the Chinese Ambassador's Andrew Marr interview.
UPDATE - March 2020
My speech in full calling for measures to limit and end the genocide against the Uyghur people.