Thank you, Mr. Chair and members of the committee. Thank you for allowing me to speak to you. It's a privilege to join you and to be able to speak on behalf of Canadians in Support of Refugees in Dire Need. This is a multidisciplinary, multifaith group.
I'm not going to apologize for repeating things you've already heard today, because I think they're worth repeating.
For some time now, our group in particular, as other groups, has been deeply concerned about the human rights situation in China. For the last six years at least, there have been credible and repeated reports of systematic and widespread repression of the Uighur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of northwestern China.
Muslim Uighurs have been subjected to a ruthless campaigns of repression, population control, mass detention, forced labour and high-technology surveillance. They have been persecuted for practising their religion, a basic human right. Their children have been taken from them and placed in orphanages, which should be a red flag to us as Canadians.
A million Chinese Community Party officials have been forcibly billeted in Uighur homes. Most mosques have been destroyed and shuttered. The Uighur language has been banned in schools—again, something that we should remember carefully—and between one million people and three million people have been detained in concentration camps—or re-education centres, as they're called—where they are physically mistreated, subjected to psychological abuse and forced to learn Mandarin Chinese.
China's police deploy some of the world's most sophisticated surveillance technologies to control and restrict every aspect of the Uighurs' lives. Crowds are monitored with facial recognition cameras; all communications are intercepted and inspected with artificial intelligence programs; and individuals are classified, accounted for and tracked through DNA databases, fingerprints and voice prints.
However, it's two particularly cruel and crucial elements to this repression that are of particular concern to the CSRDN.
First, we are concerned about the many reports of forced birth control, sterilization, tubal ligation and abortion, which are dramatically changing the demographics of Xinjiang. In the last three weeks, there have been two complementary reports—and you've heard from Mr. Adrian Zenz this morning, and from the Associated Press—documenting these activities. The British Foreign Secretary made a comment in Parliament this weekend about this very thing, as you probably all know.
The results of these policies have been a huge decrease in the Uighur birth rate in three years.
Second, there is predatory practice of organ trafficking that for years has seen China engage in large-scale harvesting of human organs from prisoners to support a lucrative organ transplant program. Over the past year, we at CSRDN have waged a specific campaign against the growing information and the growing fear that China is using Uighur prisoners of conscience for their organs to support a booming trade in organ transplants. We have sent a letter to the United Nations, with the signatures of more than 1,000 physicians from North America on this petition.
Organ transplants, as we know, are often difficult to find in Canada, but they're easily available in China and are advertised internationally, with perfect matches based on DNA analysis available within three weeks of application, yet tracking the source of such organs is difficult and indeed deliberately deceptive. There is highly compelling evidence that the numbers are being falsified.
Last year, as you've already heard, the independent China Tribunal, which is based in London and led by Sir Geoffrey Nice, who previously led the prosecution for crimes against humanity of Slobodan Milosevic, unanimously concluded that China continues to rely heavily on forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience to fuel a billion-dollar-a-year organ transplant business.
We urge Canadian parliamentarians to unequivocally condemn these crimes against humanity and to take action to eliminate any possible Canadian involvement in Chinese organ harvesting. We ask you to act immediately to pass Bill S-204, which is an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with regard to organ trafficking. This bill, as you know, despite having the unanimous support of both Houses, died at the end of the last Parliament. The bill, while not directly specifying China, would essentially bar Canadians from travelling abroad to purchase or receive organs for transplantation against the donor's will. It would amend our immigration laws to make a permanent resident or foreign national inadmissible to Canada if they participated in unsanctioned and unauthorized organ harvesting.
You have the power to fast-track Bill S-204 now and to strike an immediate, practical blow to China's genocidal treatment of the Uighur people.