China & the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Tibetan Case

17 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2015 Last revised: 16 Jan 2015

See all articles by Michael C. Davis

Michael C. Davis

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 24, 2014

Abstract

Using sovereignty as a shield, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has generally sought a pass in regard to enforcing international human rights compliance. Though it has signed numerous human rights treaties, its state-centered approach has sought to avoid all efforts at enforcement. This avoidance has nowhere been more absolute than its disavowal of any obligations regarding indigenous peoples’ rights. The PRC actually voted in support of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) (UN General Assembly 2008). It then promptly disavowed any obligation under the declaration, proclaiming there were no indigenous peoples in China. It proclaimed 5,000 years of unity and harmony with its 55 designated national minorities living in peace on their own land. Though a bloody history and recent protests by the most prominent of these minorities – Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Mongols – would tend to belie such assertion, the international community has rarely challenged this claim.

Keywords: Tibet, autonomy

Suggested Citation

Davis, Michael C., China & the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The Tibetan Case (May 24, 2014). University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2014/044, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2544388 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2544388

Michael C. Davis (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
China

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