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Canadian House of Commons Unanimously Passes Motion Urging Canadian Government to Accept Uyghurs

Feb. 02, 2023.

The Canadian House of Commons on February 1 unanimously passed a motion (M-62) calling on the Canadian government to accept 10,000 displaced Uyghurs fleeing oppression in China, with a mandate for the government to accept 10,000 refugees over two years beginning in 2024.

The motion was submitted by Liberal MP Sameer Zuberi in June 2022, and since then, after more than six months of persuading legislators to win approval, the motion was passed. In January 2021, Canada passed a motion condemning China's oppression of Uighurs and Turkic Muslims as genocide, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other cabinet members abstained from voting on the resolution at that time. This time, however, Prime Minister Trudeau and his ministers also voted in support, according to press reports. Although the motion is not binding on the government, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser, one of the ministers who voted in favor, said that he is "committed to working with members of all political parties" to advance the measures mentioned in the motion passed by the House, although he did not make an explicit commitment to do so. He stated.

Rep. Zuberi commented on both the ministerial support for the motion and Immigration Minister Fraser's remarks, which he interpreted as a commitment to accept 10,000 refugees. He added that by voting unanimously in favor of M-62, the Canadian government has taken the right steps to address the ongoing crackdown on the Uyghurs, which "sends the right message to China."

According to the motion passed, the government is required to submit a report to the House of Representatives on how the government will implement its plan to accept displaced persons within a 100-day session from the date of the resolution, and it remains to be seen what the government will do.

Regarding human rights issues in Xinjiang, China, the Government of Canada issued a statement on September 1, 2022 supporting the report released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), calling on the Chinese government to address the concerns and recommendations raised in the report. It also expresses its willingness to continue to take concerted action with international partners to clarify the responsibilities of the Chinese government.


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