Violence and Discrimination Against Tibetan Women

I. Introduction

The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, and Tibet Justice Center respectfully submit this report on the situation of women in Chinese-occupied Tibet to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (the Committee).

The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children (the Women's Commission) is an advocacy organization whose mission is to promote awareness of the needs and skills of refugee and internally displaced women and children, who make up 80 percent of the world's displaced population. The Women's Commission serves as an expert resource, helping governments, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and donors to provide protection, greater participation and more appropriate services for refugee women and their children. The Women's Commission was founded in 1989 under the auspices of the International Rescue Committee.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) was founded in January 1996 to monitor the human rights situation in Tibet and to promote democracy in the Tibetan community. In addition to recording testimony of Tibetan exiles, TCHRD organizes seminars and workshops on human rights for the exiled Tibetan community and conducts campaigns for victims of human rights violations in Chinese-occupied Tibet.

Tibet Justice Center advocates self-determination for the Tibetan people through legal action and education. Tibet Justice Center promotes human rights, environmental protection and a peaceful resolution to the situation in Tibet.

The report of the People's Republic of China covers the period 1989 to 1995. Our report will document the events in Tibet from 1989 to the present and is primarily based on documentation compiled over the past several years by TCHRD and by a mission undertaken by Tibet Justice Center and the Women's Commission to Dharamsala, India in August 1998.

While discrimination against Tibetan women permeates many aspects of daily life in Tibet, this report is limited to evidence of widespread Convention violations in the following areas: (1) violence against women in the forms of torture and violations of reproductive rights; (2) prostitution; and (3) discrimination in education, employment and health care.

We begin with a brief overview of Tibet and then proceed to discuss relevant Convention articles. For each of these articles, we present China's assessment (if any) of its compliance followed by our own assessment. We conclude with our organizations' joint recommendations to the Committee.

We thank the members of the Committee for encouraging the participation of NGOs in its work, especially in the form of "shadow" reports such as this one.


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