UN Authority Figures

U.N. Economic and Social Council: China

More than 100 human rights lawyers and activists have been detained or questioned by Chinese police and denounced in state media as a "criminal gang" in recent days – sparking fears of an unprecedented crackdown by the Chinese authorities.
Source: The Guardian, July 13, 2015

Mission of the Economic and Social Council: "The Economic and Social Council is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals." (ECOSOC website, "About Us")

Term of office: 2017-2019

China's Record on "social development" and "fostering debate":
"Repression and coercion markedly increased during the year against organizations and individuals involved in civil and political rights advocacy and public interest and ethnic minority issues. The crackdown on the legal community was particularly severe, as individual lawyers and law firms that handled cases the government deemed "sensitive" were targeted for harassment and detention, with hundreds of lawyers and law associates interrogated, investigated, and in many cases detained in secret locations for months without charges or access to attorneys or family members. Officials continued to harass, intimidate, and prosecute family members and associates to retaliate against rights advocates and defenders. Individuals and groups regarded as politically sensitive by authorities faced tight restrictions on their freedom to assemble, practice religion, and travel. Authorities resorted to extralegal measures, such as enforced disappearance and strict house arrest, including house arrest of family members, to prevent public expression of critical opinions. Five men working in Hong Kong's publishing industry disappeared between October and December from Thailand, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen; it was believed that PRC security officials were responsible for their disappearances. Authorities continued to censor and tightly control public discourse on the internet and in print and other media. There was severe official repression of the freedoms of speech, religion, association, and assembly of Uighurs in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and of Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas. These minorities continued to face severe restrictions on movement... As in previous years, citizens did not have the right to change their government and had limited forms of redress against official abuse. Other human rights abuses during the year included alleged extrajudicial killings; executions without due process; prolonged illegal detentions at unofficial holding facilities known as "black jails"; torture and coerced confessions of prisoners; detention and harassment of lawyers who took on "sensitive" cases, journalists, writers, bloggers, dissidents, petitioners, and others whose actions the authorities deemed unacceptable ; lack of due process in judicial proceedings; political control of courts and judges; closed trials; the use of administrative detention; failure to protect refugees and asylum seekers; extrajudicial disappearances of Chinese and foreign citizens; restrictions on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs);..."
(U.S. State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2015, China)