Global Human Rights Defence

Relentless Human Rights Violations by China on Tibetans Despite 109 Years of their Independence

Author: Mandakini Jathavethan

Prayer Wheels. Source: Flickr, Marvic Cordina, 2009

Introduction

The Chinese population is composed of fifty-six ethnic groups. An overwhelming majority of the people (91.6 percent) belong to the Han ethnic group. Less than ten percent of the total population is distributed unevenly throughout the other 55 ethnic groups (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 2013). A national survey conducted in 2010 by the National Bureau of Statistics of China recorded 3,002,166 Tibetans in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2011) and 6,282,187 Tibetans across China (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2021). Considering the total population in Mainland China to be 1,339,724,852 people (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2011), according to the survey, Tibetans constitute a mere 0.46 percent of the total population and are considered an ethnic minority. 

The treatment of minorities in China has invited much international attention for decades. Tibetans are no exception. There have been several credible reports of severe human rights violations through the decades. Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, spoke of a “cultural genocide” perpetrated by Chinese authorities against the Tibetan peoples (Reuters, 2011).

Context

The 13th Dalai Lama proclaimed Tibet’s freedom and sovereignty to commemorate a failed invasion of Tibet by the Manchu army in 1913. The Proclamation detailed previous attempts of the Chinese authorities in Szechuan and Yunnan to colonise Tibet. The Proclamation declared Tibet to be “a small, religious, and independent nation” (Tibet Justice Center, 1913). The Tibetan Independence Day is celebrated annually on February 13th to mark the occasion. 

This year marked the 109th anniversary of Tibet’s Independence Day. Students for a Free Tibet-India (SFT-India) stated that “in occupied countries, the observation of Independence Day is a powerful expression of a people’s desire for freedom” (Students for a Free Tibet, n.d.). They organised a talk on “History of Proclamation of Tibetan Independence” in Dharamshala, India, where the 14th Dalai Lama resides. SFT-France (Students for a Free Tibet-France) held a peaceful protest at Bastille Square, Paris, by raising Tibetan flags and making demands to free Tibet from “Chinese occupation” (India Blooms News Service, 2022). A car rally terminating at the Chinese consulate of Canada was held, flying Tibetan flags and banners (ANI News, 2022).

Notably, no state legally recognised the sovereignty of Tibet, which is considered to be a part of China. As a state-party to several international human rights instruments, China is obliged to provide several rights and benefits to all its citizens, including Tibetans. This article highlights that despite the lack of sovereign recognition, China does not treat Tibetans with the same rights and benefits available to other Chinese citizens. Instead, they are harshly treated, and face intense governmental discrimination. Some of these issues are discussed in this article.

Human rights violations

Right to education

The Tibet Action Institute (2021) reported that roughly 75 percent of school-going children between the ages of six to 18 live in Chinese boarding schools, whose practices systematically eliminate the Tibetan language, religion, culture, and customs. This is supported by a Chinese Ministry of Education decree titled ‘Children Homophony Plan’ released in July 2021, requiring kindergartens in ethnic and rural areas to use Mandarin as the medium of instruction. Deservedly, this decree invited the attention of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It recommended the preservation of the Tibetan language in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) by encouraging its use in education (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 2018).

As a state-party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), China is obligated to provide education to children in accordance with respect for the child’s “cultural identity, language and values”, according to Article 29(1)(c). The same provision obligates state-parties to provide such education to children in a manner of cultivating respect for cultures and customs different from their own. Article 7 specifically calls for states to adopt measures to eliminate racial prejudice through education, teaching, and culture. China has violated its obligations under the CRC to provide education tolerant of multicultural environments. 

Right to life, torture and enforced disappearance

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) body that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It expressed concern over China’s vague and broad definitions of terrorism and separatism, as it facilitated the racial and criminal profiling of Tibetans. Reports from credible sources detailed China’s torture and ill-treatment of Tibetans, among other ethnic minorities. Over the years, the enforced disappearances of “lamas, monks, nuns, intellectuals, writers, artists, farmers, community leaders, and students” on the grounds of national security have been reported consistently (TCHRD, 2021).

As a State Party to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, China is obligated to protect the right of all citizens to a life of liberty, free from torture and inhuman treatment or punishment, including through enforced disappearance. The Committee against Torture expressed concern over credible reports of “torture, deaths in custody, arbitrary detention and disappearances of Tibetans” (Committee Against Torture, 2016). China has also violated Article 2 and 7 of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

The right to work

China adopted the Farmer and Pastoralist Training and Labour Transfer Action Plan in 2019-2020 targeted at “rural surplus labourers” (Cu, 2021). They are trained and transferred within Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) or sent to mainland China. In their bid to eradicate poverty, Tibetan pastoralists and farmers are made to undergo “military-style vocational training” to correct their alleged backward thinking and to improve their Mandarin. By July 2020, the training of 543,000 Tibetan rural surplus labourers was completed, of which 49,000 were transferred within TAR and 3,109 were transferred to mainland China. They were to work in vocations considered to help them alleviate their poverty, such as in road construction, driving, cooking, and mining (Cu, 2021). 

Evidence suggests that recruitment, training and job-matching are not voluntary. The land that is freed up is taken over by state-run collectives. Displaced Tibetans become increasingly dependent on government subsidies and suffer from cycles of debt and, ironically, poverty. This forcible eviction is not accompanied by      any type of compensation either. Furthermore, the ethnic majority of China, viz., the Han, are encouraged at subsidised costs to transfer from mainland China to Tibet with the promise of employment opportunities. The migrants benefit more from subsidised economic development policies than native Tibetans. Han jobseekers fare significantly better than Tibetan jobseekers across China. A high rate of unemployment was recognised by the Committee against Racial Discrimination attributable partly due to Han “migration into minority areas” (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2014). The combination of the eviction of Tibetans and the influx of Hans in TAR results in skewed demographics aimed at the systematic dilution of Tibetan culture.

The right to employment and livelihood under safe and healthy conditions safeguarding freedoms is protected by Articles 2, 6(2) and 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, of which China is a state-party. Systematic and coercive urbanisation, coined urbanicide (Dorjee, 2017), forms a violation of the Tibetan peoples’ right to employment as it strips them of their livelihood.

Right to religious belief

Citing national security concerns, certain Measures that took effect on March 1st, 2022, allow only licensed entities to disseminate religious content online. One of the conditions to be granted such a licence is that the applicant should not have a criminal record. This condition is likely to disproportionately affect Tibetans whose defenders have faced increasing criminalisation by Chinese governance through the decades (Human Rights Watch, 2016). Article 17 of these Measures outright prohibits the broadcasting of “religious ceremonies such as worshipping Buddha, burning incense, receiving ordination, chanting, worship, mass, and baptism”. Alarmingly, this Article asks citizens to adhere “to the direction of sinicising religions”.

The additional licensing requirement is preceded by a December 2020 circular (Tibet Internet Police, 2020). It criminalised the use of the internet and VPNs to “publish and spread information that distorts history, dilutes national consciousness, uses religious content, religious activities, etc. to attack the party and state policies, and slander the socialist system” (Dolma, 2020).

China has even attempted to regulate Buddhism, asserting that the 15th Dalai Lama will be born in Tibet following Chinese laws and religious rituals. This invited the attention of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; the Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. They sought China’s comments on “how the regulation of reincarnation of living Buddhas is compatible with the protection of freedom of religion or belief and the protection of religious minorities without discrimination under international human rights law” (Hazan, Steinerte, Bennoune, Varennes, Shaheed, 2020). They highlighted the 25th anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Gedhun Cheokyi Nyima, kidnapped at the age of six when recognised as the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama by the Dalai Lama. The government had repeatedly refused to disclose his whereabouts and condition (Hazan et al., 2020).

Pictures of the Dalai Lama are routinely confiscated, and buddhist statues are routinely destroyed. There is no freedom to protest against such moves peacefully, as protestors are detained or imprisoned. Those found disseminating pictures or videos of such events or even seen in possession of such content on their mobile phones are punished. A multifaceted attack on Tibet’s religious and cultural beliefs through systematic extinguishment of Buddhism appears to be underway (Jathavethan, 2022).

Such actions violate the prohibition against discrimination, the right to equal protection without discrimination, the right not be deprived arbitrarily of liberty, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and to freely participate in cultural life under Articles 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 18 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The “right to take part in cultural life” is protected by Article 15(1) of the ICESCR. China has been a State Party since March 27th, 2001.

Right to free speech and expression

Tibetans are prohibited from communicating with their relatives in exile. The Tibetan residents of Kanlho and Ngaba prefectures in the TAR reported increased surveillance during the Winter Olympics 2022 held in Beijing. Those who had previously visited India were required to report to the local police station and were questioned daily. They faced additional discrimination as they were considered to incite separatism. Residents of Dragyab and Chamdo counties of the TAR were required to install spyware applications on their cell phones, which allowed their contacts to be monitored. Using these intimidation tactics, those found in possession of “politically sensitive” content, such as recent demolitions of Buddha statues, are arbitrarily detained for two to three months (Anthis, 2022).

The right to free speech and expression is a core human right protected by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Excessive governmental interference in Tibetans’ online and physical activities violates China’s international human rights obligations.

Conclusion

There does not appear to be much change in the state of human rights in Tibet. China continues to institute and practice aggressive policies against Tibetans, thereby consistently violating their rights to life and liberties and being free from torture, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearance. Other human rights obligations in question are the Tibetans’ right to equality and non-discrimination, religious belief, free speech and expression, and employment. 

The 109th Tibetan Independence Day is significant because it coincided with the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted by China. It comes amid grave concerns for the alleged genocide against Tibetan and Uyghur minorities at the hands of the Chinese government.

References

Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services. (2021). State Administration of Religious Affairs. Retrieved from  http://www.sara.gov.cn/qtldyw/364754.jhtml 

ANI News. (2022, February 14). Car rally held in Toronto to celebrate 109th Tibetan Independence Dayhttps://www.aninews.in/news/world/europe/car-rally-held-in-toronto-to-celebrate-109th-tibetan-independence-day20220214133038/

Anthis, A. (2022, February 13). Chinese authorities increase censorship on Tibetans during Winter Olympics. GHRTV. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://ghrtv.org/chinese-authorities-increase-censorship-on-tibetans-during-winter-olympics

Anthis, A. (2022, February 16). Tibetans forced to install mobile phone Spyware app to monitor contact with exiled community. GHRTV. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://ghrtv.org/tibetans-forced-to-install-mobile-phone-spyware-app-to-monitor-contact-with-exiled-community

Committee Against Torture. (2016). Concluding Observations on the Fifth Periodic Report of China [Review of Concluding Observations on the Fifth Periodic Report of China]. 

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. (2014). Concluding observations on the second periodic report of China, including Hong Kong, China, and Macao, China

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. (2018). Concluding observations on the combined fourteenth to seventeenth periodic reports of China (including Hong Kong, China and Macao, China) [Review of Concluding observations on the combined fourteenth to seventeenth periodic reports of China (including Hong Kong, China and Macao, China)]. 

Cu, N. (2021). Civil society submission on the People’s Republic of China’s Third Report on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [Review of Civil society submission on the People’s Republic of China’s Third Report on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights]. Loyola Law School.

Dolma, N. (2020, December 30). China declared more restrictive measures in occupied Tibet with tighter internet censorship: TCHRD. Tibet post International. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/132-tibet/6929-china-declared-more-restrictive-measures-in-occupied-tibet-with-tighter-internet-censorship-tchrd

Dorjee, R. (2017, March 17). China’s Urbancide in Tibet. The Diplomat. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://thediplomat.com/2017/03/chinas-urbancide-in-tibet/

Freedom House. (2021, March 1). Tibet: Freedom in the world 2021 country report. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://freedomhouse.org/country/tibet/freedom-world/2021

Hazan, L., Steinerte, E., Bennoune, K., Varennes, F. de, & Shaheed, A. (2020). Mandates of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; the Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. Palais Des Nations.

http://www.moe.gov.cn/srcsite/A18/s3129/202108/t20210802_548318.html 

Human Rights Watch. (2016, May 22). Relentless | Detention and Prosecution of Tibetans under China’s “Stability Maintenance” Campaignhttps://www.hrw.org/report/2016/05/22/relentless/detention-and-prosecution-tibetans-under-chinas-stability-maintenance 

India Blooms News Service. (2022, February 15). Students for free Tibet-France demonstrates in Paris to mark Tibetan Independence Day. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://www.indiablooms.com/world-details/SA/33363/students-for-free-tibet-france-demonstrates-in-paris-to-mark-tibetan-independence-day.html

International Campaign for Tibet. (2020, November 19). China’s seventh national census a tool for controlling citizensRetrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://www.savetibet.eu/chinas-seventh-national-census-a-tool-for-controlling-citizens/

Jathavethan, M. (2022, March 1). China destroys third Tibetan Buddhist statue in two months. GHRTV. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://ghrtv.org/china-destroys-third-tibetan-buddhist-statue-in-two-months

Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. (2021). Notice of the General Office of the Ministry of Education on Implementing the “Children’s Homophone” Program for Preschool Children’s Mandarin Education.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. (2013). Fifty-six ethnic groups in China. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/ceag/eng/zggk/t1064047.htm

National Bureau of Statistics of China. (2011, April 29). Communiqué of the national bureau of statistics of People’s Republic of China on major figures of the 2010 population Census (No. 2). Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://www.stats.gov.cn/english/NewsEvents/201104/t20110429_26450.html

Reuters. (2011, November 7). Dalai lama blames Tibetan burnings on “cultural genocide”. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-tibet-dalailama-idUSTRE7A619X20111107

Students for a Free Tibet. (n.d.). Feb 13 – Tibetan Independence Day. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://www.sftindia.org/campaign/13th-february/

Tibet Action Institute. (2021). Separated From Their Families, Hidden from the World China’s Vast System of Colonial Boarding Schools Inside Tibet. Retrieved from https://s7712.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/ColonialBoardingSchoolReport.pdf 

Tibet Internet Police. (2020) Circular of the Tibet Autonomous Region on Prohibiting the Use of Information Networks to Carry out Activities of Splitting the Country and Undermining National Reunification. Retrieved from http://www.xztzb.cn/news/1608801210949.shtml 

Tibet Justice Center. (1913). Proclamation Issued by His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIII. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://www.tibetjustice.org/materials/tibet/tibet1.html

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. (2021, August 30). TCHRD stands in solidarity with all victims of enforced disappearances. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://tchrd.org/tchrd-remembers-all-victims-of-enforced-disappearance-on/

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. (2021, September 17). China enforces compulsory Mandarin Chinese learning for preschool children in Tibet. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://tchrd.org/china-enforces-compulsory-mandarin-chinese-learning-for-preschool-children-in-tibet/

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2021, September 3). Chinese ethnic groups: Overview statistics. Subject Research Guides – LibGuides at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved on 21 February 2022 from https://guides.lib.unc.edu/china_ethnic/statistics

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Mandakini

Coordinator - Tibet Team

Mandakini graduated with honours from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Her team analyses the human rights violations faced by Tibetans through a legal lens.

Kenza Mena
Team Coordinator -China

Kenza Mena has expertise in international criminal law since she is currently pursuing a last-year Master’s degree in International Criminal Justice at Paris II Panthéon-Assas and obtained with honors cum laude an LLM in International and Transnational Criminal Law from the University of Amsterdam. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in French and Anglo-American law. 

Since September 2021, she has been the coordinator of Team China at GHRD, a country where violations of human rights, even international crimes, are frequently perpetrated by representatives of the State. Within Team China, awareness is also raised on discrimination that Chinese women and minorities in the country and, more generally, Chinese people around the world are facing.

Kenza believes that the primary key step to tackle atrocities perpetrated around the world is advocacy and promotion of human rights.

Aimilina Sarafi
Pakistan Coordinator

Aimilina Sarafi holds a Bachelor’s degree cum laude in International Relations and Organisations from Leiden University and is currently pursuing a Double Legal Master’s degree (LLM) in Public International Law and International Criminal Law at the University of Amsterdam.
She is an active advocate for the human rights of all peoples in her community and is passionate about creating a better world for future generations. Aimilina is the coordinator for the GHRD team of Pakistan, in which human rights violations of minority communities in Pakistan are investigated and legally evaluated based on international human rights legal standards.
Her team is working on raising awareness on the plight of minority communities such as women, children, religious and ethnic minorities within Pakistan.

Lukas Mitidieri
Coordinator & Head Researcher- Bangladesh

Lucas Mitidieri is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). As the GHRD Bangladesh Team Coordinator, he advocates for human rights and monitors violations across all minorities and marginalized groups in Bangladesh. Lucas believes that the fight for International Human Rights is the key to a world with better social justice and greater equality.

Nicole Hutchinson
Editorial Team Lead

Nicole has an MSc in International Development Studies with a focus on migration. She is passionate about promoting human rights and fighting poverty through advocacy and empowering human choice. Nicole believes that even the simplest social justice efforts, when properly nurtured, can bring about radical and positive change worldwide.

Gabriela Johannen
Coordinator & Head Researcher – India

Gabriela Johannen is a lawyer admitted to the German bar and holds extensive knowledge in the fields of human rights, refugee law, and international law. After working for various courts and law firms in her home country, she decided to obtain an LL.M. degree from Utrecht University where she studied Public International Law with a special focus on Human Rights. Additionally, while working as a pro-bono legal advisor for refugees, she expanded her knowledge in the fields of refugee law and migration.

Gabriela is the coordinator and head researcher for GHRD India, a country, she has had a personal connection with since childhood. Her primary focus is to raise awareness for the severe human rights violations against minorities and marginalized groups that continue to occur on a daily basis in India. By emphasizing the happenings and educating the general public, she hopes to create a better world for future generations.

João Victor
Coordinator & Head Researcher – International Justice

João Victor is a young Brazilian lawyer who leads our team of International Justice and Human Rights. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and possesses over 5 years of experience in dealing with Human Rights and International Law issues both in Brazil and internationally, including the protection of refugees’ rights and the strengthening of accountability measures against torture crimes.

João has an extensive research engagement with subjects related to International Justice in general, and more specifically with the study of the jurisprudence of Human Rights Courts regarding the rise of populist and anti-terrorist measures taken by national governments. He is also interested in the different impacts that new technologies may provoke on the maintenance of Human Rights online, and how enforcing the due diligence rules among private technology companies might secure these rights against gross Human Rights violations.

Célinne Bodinger
Environment and Human Rights Coordinator

As the Environment and Human Rights Coordinator, Célinne is passionate about the health of our planet and every life on it.

Angela Roncetti
Team Coordinator and Head Researcher- South America

Angela holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Vitória Law School (FDV) in Brazil. Her research combines more than five years of experience conducting debates and studies on the rights of homeless people, the elderly, children, and refugees. Besides that, she also volunteers in a social project called Sou Diferente (I am Different in English), where she coordinates and takes part in actions aimed at the assistance and the emancipation of vulnerable groups in the cities of the metropolitan area of Espírito Santo state (Brazil).

Lina Borchardt
Team Head (Promotions)
(Europe)

She is currently heading the Promotions Team and University Chapter of Global Human Rights Defence. Her background is the one of European and International Law, which I am studying in The Hague. She has previously gained experience at Women´s Rights organizations in Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey over the past years.
She has been working for Global Human Rights Defence in the Netherlands since 2020. Her focus now is concentrated on the Human Rights and Minorities Film Festival and the cooperation of GHRD with students across the country.

Pedro Ivo Oliveira
Team Coordinator and Researcher
(Africa)

Pedro holds an extensive background in Human Rights, especially in Global Health, LGBTQ+ issues, and HIV and AIDS. He is currently finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Affairs at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Moreover, he successfully attended the Bilingual Summer School in Human Rights Education promoted by the Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Association of Universities of the Montevideo Group. Besides, Pedro Ivo has a diversified professional background, collecting experiences in many NGOs and projects.

With outstanding leadership abilities, in 2021, Pedro Ivo was the Secretary-General of the 22nd edition of the biggest UN Model in Latin America: the MINIONU. Fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, Pedro Ivo is the Team Coordinator and Head Researcher of the Team Africa at Global Human Rights Defence. Hence, his focus is to empower his team from many parts of the world about the Human Rights Situation in the African continent, meanwhile having a humanized approach.

Alessandro Cosmo
GHRD Youth Ambassador
(European Union)

Alessandro Cosmo obtained his B.A. with Honors from Leiden University College where he studied International Law with a minor in Social and Business Entrepreneurship. He is currently pursuing an LL.M. in Public International Law at Utrecht University with a specialization in Conflict and Security. 
As GHRD’s E.U. Youth Ambassador, Alessandro’s two main focuses are to broaden the Defence’s reach within E.U. institutions and political parties, as well as mediate relations between human rights organizations abroad seeking European funding. 
Alessandro believes that human rights advocacy requires grass-roots initiatives where victims’ voices are amplified and not paraphrased or spoken for. He will therefore act on this agenda when representing Global Human Rights Defence domestically and abroad

Veronica Delgado
Team Coordinator and Researcher- Japan, Sri Lanka & Tibet

Veronica is a Colombian lawyer who leads our team of Japan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. She holds a master’s degree in Public International Law from Utrecht University. She has experience in Colombian law firms. Here she represented clients before constitutional courts. She also outlined legal concepts to state entities such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ombudsman’s Office on international law issues.

Veronica has an extensive research background with subjects related to public international law. She worked as an assistant researcher for more than two years for the Externado University of Colombia. Here she undertook in-depth research on constitutional, business, and human rights law issues. She was involved with consultancy services with the Colombian Army regarding transitional justice. 

Wiktoria Walczyk
Coordinator & Head Researcher (Nepal & Indonesia)

Wiktoria Walczyk has joined GHRD in June 2020 as a legal intern. She is currently coordinator and head researcher of Team Nepal and Indonesia. She has an extensive legal knowledge concerning international human rights and is passionate about children’s and minorities’ rights. Wiktoria has obtained her LL.B. in International & European Law and she specialised in Public International Law & Human Rights at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Moreover, she is pursuing her LL.M. in International & European Law and focusing on Modern Human Rights Law specialisation at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. In order to gain an essential legal experience, Wiktoria has also joined Credit Suisse’s 2021 General Counsel Graduate First Program where she is conducting her legal training and discovering the banking world. She would like to make a significant impact when it comes to the protection of fundamental human rights around the world, especially with regard to child labour. 

Fairuz Sewbaks
Coordinator and Head Researcher
(Africa)​

Fairuz Sewbaks holds extensive legal knowledge regarding international human rights, with a specific focus on human rights dealings taking place in continental Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Hague University in public international law and international human rights and successfully followed advanced human rights courses at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. She furthermore participated in the Istanbul Summer School where she was educated about the role of epidemics and pandemics in light of human rights.

 

Fairuz is the coordinator and head researcher for GHRD Africa. Her primary focus is to establish and coordinate long-term research projects regarding the differentiating human rights dealings of vulnerable and marginalized groups in continental Africa, as well as conducting individual research projects.

Priya Lachmansingh
Coordinator and Head Researcher, Political Advisor
(Asia & America)

Priya Lachmansingh is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in International & European
Law at the Hague University of Applied Science.
As GHRD’s Asia & America human rights coordinator and GHRD Political Advisor, Priya’s
prominent focus is to highlight human rights violations targeted against minority and
marginalized groups in Asia and America and to broaden GHRD reach within Dutch political
parties and as well seek domestic funding.

Jasmann Chatwal
Team Coordinator & Head Coordinator: North America

Jasmann is a political science student at Leiden University who joined GHRD in May 2021 as an intern in team Pakistan. Now, she is the team coordinator for North America and is responsible for coordinating the documentation of human rights violations in USA, Canada, and America.