Dec 28, 2019

China separating Uighur children from families to re-educate them

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

About a half-million Uighur children have been separated from their families and placed in boarding schools as part of China's effort to eradicate the Uighur identity, The New York Times reports.

The big picture per Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Forced family separation is a tried-and-true method that governments have used to permanently eradicate minority identities and culture. The New York Times reveals for the first time the true scale — and the genocidal intent — of China's intergenerational family separation policies in Xinjiang, a province with a large population of Uighurs.

The state of play: The Chinese government showcases the schools as a way to fight poverty, and plans to have up to two schools in each of Xinjiang's 800-plus townships by the end of next year, the Times writes.

  • Chinese officials hope the boarding schools will teach the children to be secular and more loyal to both the nation and the Communist Party.
  • Authorities in Xinjiang are recruiting tens of thousands of teachers from across the country to teach at these schools, while many Uighur teachers have been imprisoned. Most of the newly recruited teachers are Han Chinese, the nation's dominant ethnic group, according to the Times.
  • The schools do not teach in or use Uighur as the main language. Preschools being built in the area are exposing younger children to Chinese as soon as possible.
  • More than a million dollars has been set aside for security equipment at these schools, including facial recognition technology.

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U.S. commission says China may be guilty of "crimes against humanity"

Protesters at the Hague during a visit from Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Photo: Pierre Crom/Getty Images

In its annual report released today, the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said that there is a "strong argument" that China has committed "crimes against humanity" in its northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Why it matters: A growing number of voices, in and out of government, are saying that China's mass detention camps clearly violate international law.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

WaPo: Diversity among public school students rises but most teachers are white

Photo: Dan Forer/Getty Images

The racial gap between public school teachers and students continues to grow as districts struggle to find and retain teachers of color, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: More teachers of color lead to better attendance, fewer suspensions and higher test scores among black and Hispanic students, the Post writes. Teachers of color have higher expectations for students of color and can better relate to their experiences.

Go deeperArrowDec 28, 2019

Activists fight to keep face recognition off college campuses

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fresh off a campaign to ban facial recognition software from being used at concerts, Fight for the Future is trying to rally students to persuade their schools to take a similarly strong stand against broad use of the powerful technology.

Why it matters: In the absence of legislation limiting its use, activists want to prevent facial recognition from becoming commonplace in public spaces.

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020