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UN, country & other reports

The reports in this section cover key extradition issues: torture and other inhumane or degrading treatment, the lack of independent courts, the use of (forced) confessions, violation of diplomatic assurances, and others. Country reports are sourced largely from foreign ministries and cover China's human rights situation.

Click the link in the description to download the report or the corresponding link at the bottom of the page to open in a new window. 

Note: Safeguard Defenders has written a number of expert reports that are not listed here but can be provided to legal counsel upon request. Please contact Safeguard Defenders directly to make a request.

 

UN Reports

UN Committee Against Torture (CAT). 2008. Report of the Committee against Torture. A review of China related to torture and ill-treatment.

UN Committee Against Torture (CAT). 2008. Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of China. A review of China with a focus on torture, ill-treatment, detention practices and detention conditions. 

UN Committee Against Torture (CAT). 2016. Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of China. Review of China related to torture and ill-treatment.

Note: China has failed to submit its periodic reporting due in December 2019 to CAT, effectively blocking the body's sixth periodic review of China's torture and ill-treatment record. 

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2022, OHCHR Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China. OHCHR assesses that "The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups, pursuant to law and policy, in context of restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity" and expressly recommends "States should further refrain from returning members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim minorities to China who are at risk of refoulement". It also places the crimes in Xinjiang in the wider "context of a criminal justice system, marked by overly broad and vague definitions of crimes,153 limits on due process rights and lack of judicial independence" in China. 

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2023, Concluding observations on the third periodic report of China

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2023, Summary of Stakeholders’ submissions on China. A summary of NGO reports on human rights and China-related issues, submitted for the fourth Universal Periodic Review of China.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 2023, Compilation of information prepared for the Universal Periodic Review of China. A summary of information on China's human rights record provided by UN bodies in anticipation of China's UPR.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Digest of Jurisprudence of UN and regional organizations on protecting human rights while countering terrorism. An overview of both UN and regional law and mechanisms related to pre-trial detention, incommunicado detention, torture, right to fair trial, and right to access legal counsel.

Note: China has not ratified the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. However, the UN Human Rights Committee does review the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao.

UN Human Rights Committee, 2022, Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of Hong Kong, China 

UN Human Rights Committee, 2022, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Macao, China

 

UN statements and other related materials

UN High Commissioner for Refugees. 2006. Note on Diplomatic Assurances and International Refugee Protection. A critical review of diplomatic assurances as the basis for transferring a person from one state to another while upholding the principle of non-refoulement. 

UN Committee Against Torture. 2017. CAT/C/GC/4 General comment No. 4 (2017) on the implementation of article 3 of the Convention in the context of article 22. This General comment helps governments to assess whether a person faces risks of torture or ill-treatment in their country of origin, if returned there and provides guidelines for assessment and a checklist of guarantees and risk factors.

UN Special Procedures. 2018. Communications to China on Residential Surveillance in a Designated Location (RSDL). 10 Special Procedures conclude the use of RSDL as “enforced disappearance” and those detained under RSDL as being under greater risk of torture and ill-treatment and calls for it to be abolished.

 

Country reports

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2019. Country Information on The People's Republic of China. A general country overview for determining protection status. 

Swedish Foreign Ministry. 2019. Human rights, democracy and the principles of the rule of law in China. A general overview of human rights-related issues and the judicial system’s flaws.

US Congressional-Executive Commission on China. 2020. Annual Report. Comprehensive overview (human rights, judicial system, etc.) with separate sections on Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Macau.  

Dutch foreign ministry. 2020. Country of Origin Information Report on China. A general review of human rights’ violations in China from the perspective of assessing asylum applications from persons originating from China and decision-making regarding the repatriation of rejected Chinese asylum seekers.

UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. 2021. Human Rights and Democracy report. A review of the human rights record in top-priority countries (prioritised by seriousness of issues and UK’s ability to make a difference), including China.

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2021. Country Information on The People's Republic of China. A general country overview for protection status determination purposes.

Swedish Foreign Ministry. 2021. Country Report on China. Covers fair trials, lack of independence of court system, torture, ill-treatment, and forced confessions.

US Congressional-Executive Commission on China. 2021. Annual Report. Comprehensive overview (human rights, judicial system, etc.) with separate sections on Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Macau.  

European Union (EU). 2022. Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World. A broad report on these subjects, with some limited references to China.

US Congressional-Executive Commission on China. 2022. Annual Report. Comprehensive overview (human rights, judicial system, etc.) with separate sections on Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Macau.  

US State Department. 2022. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: China. A comprehensive overview of human rights (in the broadest sense).

 

NGO reports

Amnesty International. 2015. No End in Sight – Torture and Forced Confessions in China. A report on torture, harassment and ill-treatment of detainees.

The Rights Practice. 2021. UN Universal Periodic Review of China: Mid-term Report. A review of 2018 UPR and subsequent developments with a focus on the death penalty, deprivation of liberty and risk of torture.

Human Rights Watch. 2021. World Report, chapter on China. Discusses human rights in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet, freedoms of religion and expression, and repression against human rights defenders.

Amnesty International. 2022. China Report. Main focus: human rights situations in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet, human rights defenders, freedom of expression and assembly.

UK Parliament House of Lords Library. 2022. China: Allegations of human rights abuses. Covers human rights violations in China, primarily in Xinjiang and Hong Kong in the context of UK-China relations.

Amnesty International. 2023. People’s Republic of China: Human Rights Situation at New Low (submission to the 45th session of the UPR Working Group). An overview of the human rights record in China submitted in anticipation of the UPR of China, including an assessment of progress of recommendations, received by China as a result of the previous UPR circle.

 

Academic papers

Council of Europe paper. 2011. Disguided Extraditions - Surrender by other means. On the use of deportations and immigration surrenders as alternatives to extraditions.

Mariana (Mitra) Radu, Catalina Mititelu. 2013. The Observance of Human Rights and Freedoms in the Extradition Proceedings at National and International Level. A paper on how risks of violating fundamental human rights and freedoms can lead to the denial of an extradition request.

Sabrina Choo. 2018. Circumventing the China Extradition Conundrum: Relying on Deportation to Return Chinese Fugitives. Discusses the practice of returning claimed fugitives to China using deportation procedures and the host country's national immigration law in lieu of extradition in the absence of an extradition treaty, a practice widely used by China. 

Noah E. Lipkowitz. 2019. Why Countries Diverge over Extradition Treaties with China: The Executive Power to Extradite in Common and Civil Law Countries. Explores the legal and non-legal factors that affect countries’ decisions on whether or not to conclude an extradition treaty with China.