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431-00253 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

PETITION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED

We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:

Whereas, Falun Gong practitioners have been the largest and most severely persecuted group in China since July 1999 for their spiritual belief in "Truth-Compassion-Forbearance", and in 2006, allegations emerged of large scale murder of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs;

Whereas, Canadian lawyers David Matas and David Kilgour have compiled more than 50 pieces of evidence and concluded the regime and its agencies in numerous parts of China have put to death a large number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs were seized involuntarily for sale at high prices;

Whereas, The Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) has got about 1.5 million petition signatures from over 50 countries and presented to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in November 2013;

Whereas, On December 12, 2013, the European Parliament adopted an urgent resolution which asked for an end to the forced organ harvesting in China;

Whereas, On December 12, 2013, the European Parliament adopted an urgent resolution which asked for an end to the forced organ harvesting in China;

Whereas, Democratic nations have a responsibility to condemn such atrocities, wherever they occur;

Therefore we, the undersigned request the Canadian government to:

A) Condemn the Chinese Communist Party's crime of systematically murdering Falun Gong practitioners for their organs.

B) Publicly call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canadian foreign policy and a priority in our government’s engagement with China. Canada has consistently called on China to respect, protect and promote freedom of expression, assembly and association, and religion or belief for all Chinese citizens.

Canada has publicly voiced concerns about the intimidation and repression of ethnic minority and religious groups, as well as Falun Gong practitioners, and will continue to do so at every appropriate opportunity.

Canadian engagement on human rights encompasses high level visits; public statements; representations on specific issues and cases of concern bilaterally as well as in multilateral forums; interventions and advocacy by the Embassy of Canada; as well as outreach to civil society.

To ensure the protection of all human rights, including freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), Canada addresses rights comprehensively through the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion (OHRFI), encouraging a climate of inclusion and respect for diversity to advance the rights of those too often marginalized in society. To this end, the OHRFI regularly engages with a diverse range of diaspora and faith and belief communities, and the broader international community to inform its approach in advocating for human rights, including freedom of religion or belief.

The Government of Canada has presented concerns regarding human rights practices directly to Chinese authorities on numerous occasions. These concerns are raised with the Government of China at the highest levels, including during the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Canada in September 2016, the Prime Minister’s visits to China in August 2016 and in December 2017, the Governor General’s visit to China in July 2017, and during a visit of Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister to China in August 2017. The Prime Minister and Premier Li also had a frank and open discussion on human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of religion as part of the third Canada-China Annual Leaders’ Dialogue in November 2018. At the G20 Foreign Minister’s meeting in Japan in November 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada raised the human rights situation in China directly with his Chinese counterpart during a bilateral meeting.

On November 6, 2018, Canada made public recommendations to China on human rights as part of its Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. At that time, Canada called on China to end the prosecution and persecution on the basis of religion or belief, including for Falun Gong practitioners. Most recently, in June 2020, during the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Canada and 27 other countries signed a joint statement on the human rights situations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

In July 2019, Canada signed a joint statement, at the U.S. Ministerial Meeting to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington. This meeting is U.S.-led initiative where issues of religious freedom violations worldwide are addressed and that brings together foreign ministers and government representatives, civil society, as well as victims of religious persecution and discrimination. The joint statement emphasized concern about the significant restrictions on religious freedom in China and called on the Chinese government to respect the human rights of all individuals. The text stated that many members of religious minority groups in China face severe repression and discrimination because of their beliefs, including Falun Gong practitioners.

The Government of Canada is actively engaged with other states, including China, to advocate the implementation of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, including for the purposes of organ removal. Canada actively participated in the development of the revised World Health Organization’s Guiding Principles on Human Organ and Tissue Transplantation, which Member States, including China, adopted in 2010. The Government of Canada also recognized the need to enhance the safety of transplantation procedures in Canada and has implemented a regulatory framework that maximizes the safety of cells, tissues and organs intended for transplantation (2007-2008).

The promotion, protection and respect of human rights are core priorities in our foreign policy. Canada will continue to raise its concerns about the human rights situation in China and we will continue to call on China to live up to its international obligation.

Presented to the House of Commons
Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
June 15, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00253)
Government response tabled
September 24, 2020
Photo - Elizabeth May
Saanich—Gulf Islands
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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