China is pressuring Tibetans to move out of long-established villages: Human Rights Watch

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
6 Min Read

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday released a report on the transfer of hundreds of Tibetans in recent days, revealing increasing atrocities against members of the Tibetan community in China. More than 140,000 residents have been relocated or are currently being moved to new locations from 500 villages, Human Rights Watch said in a release.

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now

The 71-page report – 'Educate People to Change Their Mentality: China's Forced Resettlement of Rural Tibetans' – states that participation in “whole-village resettlement” programmes in Tibet, in which entire villages are relocated, is a violation of international law and amounts to forced eviction.

Officials make misleading claims that these transfers will “improve people's livelihoods” and “protect the ecological environment.” The government prevents relocated people from returning to their former homes, typically requiring them to demolish these homes within a year of being relocated, the news release said.

“The Chinese government says the relocation of Tibetan villages is voluntary, but official media reports contradict this claim,” said Maya Wang, acting China director at Human Rights Watch. “Those reports make clear that when an entire village is targeted for relocation, it is practically impossible for residents to refuse to relocate without facing serious consequences.”

The report is based on more than 1,000 official Chinese media articles published between 2016 and 2023. It includes three case studies and video footage that show in detail the arguments and methods used by Chinese authorities to obtain residents' “consent” to relocate their villages.

Chinese government policy in Tibet stipulates that every household in each targeted village must consent to relocation. Human Rights Watch found numerous references to initial reluctance among Tibetans whose villages were earmarked for relocation. In one case, 200 of the 262 households in a village in Nagchu Municipality initially did not want to be relocated to a location nearly 1,000 kilometers away. The government claimed that everyone eventually agreed to move voluntarily.

According to the release, Chinese officials attribute their success in obtaining full consent to “propaganda work” and “door-to-door ideological work” carried out by officials. This often involves intrusive door-to-door visits. In some cases, officials of increasing seniority repeatedly visit families' homes to obtain their “consent.” In some cases, they even tell residents that essential services will be cut off in their existing homes if they do not move.

He openly threatened villagers who dissented about the resettlement, accusing them of “spreading rumors” and ordered officials to crack down “swiftly and firmly” on such actions, subjecting them to administrative and criminal penalties. Did. Furthermore, officials require each targeted village to make a decision unanimously and do not allow any individual resident to opt out of that decision, creating additional peer group pressure on all residents to comply.

In addition to programs that relocate entire villages, authorities in Tibet also use a form of relocation known as “individual household relocation.” This usually involves officials selecting poor families to relocate to locations deemed more suitable for income generation. The government relocated 567,000 people to Tibetan areas of China under this program between 2016 and 2020.

Although participants selected for this program may refuse to participate, official media accounts reveal that officials routinely assure them that relocation will improve employment prospects and increase income. However, studies by Chinese government-affiliated researchers in Tibet show that most relocated people, who have moved to sub-urban areas where their farming or animal husbandry skills cannot be used, are unable to find sustainable employment.

Although large-scale relocation of residents living in poor rural areas of China is underway, it threatens to have a devastating impact on Tibetan communities, Human Rights Watch found.

With current Chinese government programs to assimilate Tibetan schooling, culture and religion into the “Chinese nation”, the relocation of rural communities destroys or greatly harms Tibetan culture and ways of life – at least because Tibet Most resettlement programs in the US move former farmers and herders to areas where they can no longer sustain their former livelihoods and have no choice but to find work as day laborers in non-agricultural industries .

“The large-scale relocation of rural Tibetan villages is seriously destroying Tibetan culture and ways of life,” Wang said. “The government of China should suspend transfers to Tibet until an independent, expert review of existing policies and practices is conducted to ensure compliance with Chinese law, standards, and international law related to transfers and forced evictions ” can be determined.”

PressNews24 provides latest news, bollywood news, breaking news hollywood, top tech news, business standard news, indian economy news, world economy news, travel news, mumbai news, latest news mumbai loksabha election 2024, video viral news, delhi news, Only at

Leave a comment