Physician leaders express concern over human rights violations against Uighur people

The World Medical Association has called on the international health community to express their concern about human rights violations on the Uighur people, a Muslim ethnic minority being detained in China’s Xinjiang region.

At their annual Assembly this week, WMA delegates agreed an emergency resolution declaring that no-one should be subjected to forced sterilisation, and calling for international independent observers to be allowed into the Xinjiang region.

Dr. David Barbe, President of the WMA, said: ‘Our meeting was told of numerous reports about Uighur people being detained in Chinese detention centres and being forced to make personnel protective equipment for exportation. The reports talk of serious abuses, including systematic sterilisation of Uighur women and the use of torture.

‘We are urging our medical association members to promote fair and ethical trade in the health sector, and to insist that the goods they use are not produced at the expense of the health of workers in the global community.

The global healthcare community should not condone unethical trade practices that are detrimental to health and encourage modern slavery and forced labour.’

The Chinese Medical Association raised strong objections to the resolution, but on a vote it was overwhelmingly passed.