MPs vote unanimously to resettle 10,000 Uyghur people

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Members of Parliament have unanimously called on Ottawa to start a refugee program to resettle 10,000 Uyghurs fleeing persecution in China.

Liberal MP Sameer Zuberi proposed the motion last June, calling on the government to launch a program in 2024 to bring Uyghurs and other Muslims of Turkic origin to Canada.

The UN Human Rights Office reported last August that China is committing “grave human rights violations” against Uyghur people, and that some who fled to other countries have been “forcibly returned,” though Beijing rejects these reports.

The motion, which is not binding, calls on Canada to develop a plan within four months to take in 10,000 Uyghur people over the course of two years.

The idea is to resettle people from countries such as Turkey rather than directly from China, with Zuberi arguing there is no safe way to do the latter.

The Commons passed a motion in February 2021 that recognized China’s treatment of the Uyghur people as a genocide, though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet abstained from the vote, saying more international investigations were needed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2023.

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