Experts on human rights are cautioning against the enforced separation of Uyghur children in China.
According to a statement, instruction at these schools is primarily conducted in Mandarin and does not involve the use of Uyghur.
The children being separated from their families could result in them being forced to assimilate into the dominant Mandarin language and adopt Han cultural traditions, according to their warning.
‘Orphans’ with families
The specialists reported receiving reports of widespread separation of children from their families, including infants whose parents are either living in another country or being held in custody.
State authorities treat the children as “orphans” and enroll them in full-time boarding schools, pre-schools, or orphanages where Mandarin is the primary language.
According to experts, children from Uyghur and other minority groups who are living in heavily regulated and supervised boarding schools may have limited opportunities to interact with their parents, relatives, or communities during their formative years.
They also mentioned that this will ultimately result in individuals becoming disconnected from their families and communities, weakening their connection to their cultural, religious, and linguistic backgrounds.
Local schools closed
According to reports, the Uyghur children are facing limited opportunities for education in their native language and are being forced to primarily speak and learn Mandarin, rather than receiving bilingual education.
Educators may face consequences for utilizing the Uyghur dialect in any context outside of designated language courses.
The United Nations specialists reported that they were made aware of a significant rise in the quantity of educational institutions catering to Muslim and minority students in Xinjiang over the past few years.
On the other hand, numerous schools in the local area that offer instruction in Uyghur and other minority languages have been shut down.
The accusations on a large scale bring about grave concerns about potential violations of fundamental human rights, according to their statement.
About UN experts
Fernand de Varennes, Alexandra Xanthaki, and Farida Shaheed, who serve as Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, cultural rights, and the right to education respectively, jointly released the following statement.
The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva appoints the experts and they operate autonomously, separate from any government or organization.
They are not employees of the UN and do not receive payment for their services.
The source of this information is the United Nations news website.