Uyghur Genocide in China


Written by Zoey Foss, News Editor

Trigger Warning: This article contains information and details that may be unsettling to some readers.

For the past two decades in China, there has been a genocide against Uyghurs, and not many have even noticed. People have often wondered what they would have done if they’d lived through the Holocaust, then turn a blind eye to what is happening in China.
The Uyghurs, a Turkish ethnic group, have been discriminated against for years now, but action has never been taken. Since the early 2000s, they’ve been transported to labor camps. At first, they were offered cash incentives. In 2006, a law was passed to relocate young women for work with positions in Eastern China, where they received sporadic wages and constantly treated with discrimination. By 2010, around twenty percent of one county had been transferred. The Human Resources and Social Security Department of Xinjiang released a plan to transfer 100,000 workers to Eastern China, where they would work to “alleviate poverty.” A few months later, it’s approximated that around 1.8 million people have been held in the internment camps that have popped up around China. This network of camps is developed and expanded further to hold more prisoners in the same year.
Officials have been denying that anything bad happens in these camps, if they aren’t denying their existence entirely. Some claim that these camps are used to help people, lifting them out of poverty and supporting the cotton industry, but this isn’t true. Inside the internment camps, women are raped and stripped of their ability to bear children. Prisoners aren’t allowed to speak their native language of Turkish, instead being forced to learn Mandarin. If they cannot memorize passages or forget one of many rules, the prisoners are beaten brutally (Hill). Many Uyghurs are Muslim, and they are being forced to go against their religion. Reporters and foreigners aren’t allowed anywhere near the camps, so it’s been difficult to find accurate reports, but escapees have come forward in recent years to share their experience.
In July of 2019, officials tell the public that their “students” have graduated from their reeducation program, and that the “educational centers” have closed. Camp detainees are given long sentences and moved to prisons, despite the fact that most of them have no criminal record. Some become laborers in factories instead. In July 2020, it was found out that these people are the ones manufacturing protective gear for the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no more freedom of religion in China. People are being persecuted simply for their ethnicity, and the world doesn’t notice. One day, this will be studied in history classes, and people will see what the world did to help. The hatred and torment of Uyghurs has already gone on for almost twenty years. We can’t let it happen any longer.


Hill, Matthew. “‘Their goal is to destroy everyone’: Uighur camp detainees allege systemic rape.” BBC News. 2 February. Accessed 12 April 2021.

Maizland, Lindsay. “China’s Repression of Uyghur’s in Xinjiang.” Backgrounder. 1 March 2021. Accessed 12 April 2021.

University of British Columbia. “Forced Labor and Detainment Transfer.” Accessed 12 April 2021.