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The Uyghur Minority in China: A Case Study of Cultural Genocide, Minority Rights and the Insufficiency of the International Legal Framework in Preventing State-Imposed Extinction

Department of Law, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Received: 28 November 2019 / Revised: 6 January 2020 / Accepted: 7 January 2020 / Published: 11 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Protection of Minorities under International Law)
Raphael Lemkin, the man who founded the term ‘genocide,’ did so with a view to protecting not only physical beings from systematically imposed extinction, but also protecting their cultures from the same fate. However, in the wake of the atrocities and bloodshed of WWII, cultural genocide was omitted from the 1948 Genocide Convention, and as a result, does not constitute an international crime. This omission has left a lacuna in international law which threatens minority groups. Not a threat of loss of life but rather loss of the culture that distinguishes them and identifies them as a minority. Powerful States with indifferent attitudes towards their international obligations face no significantly harsher punishment for cultural genocide than they do for other human rights transgressions. Consequently, cultural genocide continues as minority cultures are rendered extinct at the hands of States. The Case Study of this article investigates the present-day example of the Uyghur minority in China and analyzes whether this modern cultural genocide can pave the way for the recognition of cultural genocide as an international crime or whether the Uyghur culture will become a cautionary tale for minorities in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: uyghur; uighur; minority rights; cultural genocide; raphael lemkin; china; china human rights; china counter-terrorism; vocational education centres; international law uyghur; uighur; minority rights; cultural genocide; raphael lemkin; china; china human rights; china counter-terrorism; vocational education centres; international law
MDPI and ACS Style

Finnegan, C. The Uyghur Minority in China: A Case Study of Cultural Genocide, Minority Rights and the Insufficiency of the International Legal Framework in Preventing State-Imposed Extinction. Laws 2020, 9, 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9010001

AMA Style

Finnegan C. The Uyghur Minority in China: A Case Study of Cultural Genocide, Minority Rights and the Insufficiency of the International Legal Framework in Preventing State-Imposed Extinction. Laws. 2020; 9(1):1. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9010001

Chicago/Turabian Style

Finnegan, Ciara. 2020. "The Uyghur Minority in China: A Case Study of Cultural Genocide, Minority Rights and the Insufficiency of the International Legal Framework in Preventing State-Imposed Extinction" Laws 9, no. 1: 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9010001

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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