Mar 8, 2022 - World

UN human rights chief to visit China in May

A worker unloads cotton picked from Xinjiang at a railway station in China.

A worker unloads cotton picked from Xinjiang at a railway station in China. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Monday she will visit China, including the Xinjiang region, in May.

Why it matters: For years, Beijing has blocked visits by Bachelet and her predecessors. If the trip goes ahead, Bachelet would be the first U.N. high commissioner for human rights to visit China in 22 years, the New York Times notes.

Catch up quick: China has been criticized by world leaders and institutions regarding their genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China.

  • The State Department declared that they were committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims, per NYT.

What they're saying: "In China, I remain concerned about the treatment of individuals who speak up on human rights issues that are deemed critical of the policies of the authorities at the local or national level- some of whom have faced restrictions on their freedom of movement, including house arrest, or in some cases have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment based on criminal charges stemming from their activities," Bachelet said in a statement.

Go deeper