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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Trade agreement with China must consider human rights in Tibet: CTC submits recommendations to Canada-China Trade Consultation

June 19, 2017

Montreal, June 19, 2017 – Human rights violations in Tibet must be addressed before Canada negotiates a free trade agreement with China, the Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) said in its written submission to the Canada-China Trade Consultation process. [1]

The submission [2] highlights an unrelenting assault on human rights in Tibet, extreme levels of poverty in Tibetan areas of China, and systemic discrimination based on ethnicity.

“There is no inherent conflict between trade and human rights  said Carole Samdup, Executive Director of the Canada Tibet Committee. “But a trade agreement that ignores foreseeable human rights impact in the partner country is not progressive and does not reflect Canadian values.”

The Government of Canada has announced that it will implement “progressive trade” in the new trade agreements it negotiates. [3]

The CTC submission highlights specific trade priorities that could have an impact on human rights in Tibet including: information and communications technology; clean technology; agriculture; tourism and cultural exchange; investment; and labour.  It also raises concerns about inadequate consultation and lack of local decision-making in Tibet.

The CTC submission recommends that the Government of Canada carry out a full human rights impact assessment to better understand vulnerabilities in Tibet and to avoid harm resulting from the Canada-China Free Trade Agreement. 

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[1] In March 2017, the Government of Canada called for written submissions from Canadians, http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/consultations/china-chine/index.aspx?lang=eng

[2] The CTC submission to the Government of Canada can be accessed at http://tibet.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/CCFTA.-screening.-May2017.pdf

[3] “International Trade Minister Promotes Progressive Trade in Halifax and Montreal”, Government of Canada, January 2017, https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2017/011/international-trade-minister-promotes-progressive-trade-halifax-montreal.html?=undefined&wbdisable=true

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