China: Treatment of children of Falun Gong practitioners; whether children of Falun Gong practitioners are subject to sanctions, including reduced access to education and to health care
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||26 June 2008|
|Citation / Document Symbol||CHN102867.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, China: Treatment of children of Falun Gong practitioners; whether children of Falun Gong practitioners are subject to sanctions, including reduced access to education and to health care, 26 June 2008, CHN102867.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d2237fc.html [accessed 29 August 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
In September 2007, Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote an open letter to the United States (US) Senate and Congress (Gao 12 Sept. 2007; The Epoch Times 23 Sept. 2007). In his letter, Gao wrote of the "persecution" of Falun Gong members in China, including the treatment of children of practitioners (ibid.; Gao 12 Sept. 2007). According to Gao, a "large number" of children in China have been expelled from school because their parents are Falun Gong practitioners (ibid.; The Epoch Times 23 Sept. 2007). Gao also indicates in his letter that many children are left unattended and sometimes homeless following the arrest of their parents (ibid.; Gao 12 Sept. 2007).
According to the US Department of State's International Religious Freedom Report 2007, Falun Gong has reported that its members "have been subject to excessive force, abuse, rape, detention, and torture, and that some of its members, including children, have died in custody" (US 14 Sept. 2007).
In November 2005, the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child published a report in which it notes its concern "at reports that children of families practising their religion, notably the Falun Gong, are subject to harassment, threats and other negative actions, including re-education through labour" (UN 24 Nov. 2005, Para. 44).
Two reports released in 2005 by Falun Gong sources also indicate that children of Falun Gong practitioners in China are mistreated (GMR 20 Mar. 2005; FoFG USA 15 Jan. 2005). A 20 March 2005 report by the Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners (GMR), an international non-governmental organization established in 2002 to raise awareness of the "persecution" of Falun Gong practitioners, states that
many children [of Falun Gong practitioners] have been directly targeted and tortured to death or thrown into prisons and labor camps. Hundreds of thousands of children have been forced to slander Falun Gong or, upon refusal, [have been] expelled from school. (GMR 20 Mar. 2005, 1)
A 15 January 2005 article by Friends of Falun Gong USA, a "US-based non-profit human rights organization founded in the year 2000 by Americans concerned about the persecution of Falun Gong" (FoFG USA 20 Feb. 2007), similarly indicates that children of practitioners have been "persecuted" at school, as well as incarcerated, "tortured," and killed by the authorities (ibid. 15 Jan. 2005).
On its website, the Falun Dafa organization in Europe, Clear Harmony, cites a 2005 statement of the United Nations Association of the USA San Diego Chapter (UNA-San Diego Chapter) on the "People's Republic of China's Violation of the Rights of the Child." In its statement, the UNA-San Diego Chapter says that children of Falun Gong practitioners "have become direct targets of police" and that, according to its information "at least five children, as young as 8 months old, have died from police mistreatment, dozens have been incarcerated, tortured, or subjected to forced labor, and hundreds have been expelled from schools" (UNA-San Diego Chapter 23 Apr. 2005).
The US-based Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (FGHRWG), an organization that publicizes cases of "human rights violations" against Falun Gong practitioners (FGHRWG n.d.a), reports that the Chinese government "torments" family members of Falun Gong practitioners to pressure them to renounce the practice (ibid. n.d.b). In an undated article on its website, the FGHRWG states that "brothers and sisters are fired from their jobs, elders are stripped of retirement benefits, and children are expelled from school" (ibid.).
Further or corroborating information from non-Falun Gong sources could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
Information on whether access to health care is restricted for children of Falun Gong practitioners could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
The Epoch Times [in Chinese]. 23 September 2007. Yi Ping. "Renowned Chinese Attorney Urges U.S. Congress to Address China's Human Rights."
Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (FGHRWG). N.d.a. "Contact."
_____. N.d.b. "Overview of Persecution of Families."
Friends of Falun Gong USA (FoFG USA). 20 February 2007. "Friends of Falun Gong USA Overview."
_____. 15 January 2005. "The Persecution of Falun Gong Children in China."
Gao, Zhisheng. 12 September 2007. Open Letter to the United States Congress. (Former Canadian Member of Parliament David Kilgour's website)
Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners (GMR). 20 March 2005. Orphans Under Persecution:A Report on Orphans Suffering from the Persecution Against Falun Gong in China. (Rescue Falun Gong Children Persecuted in China)
United Nations (UN). 24 November 2005. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Committee on the Rights of the Child. Fortieth Session. Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under Article 44 of the Convention. Concluding Observations: China (Including Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions). (CRC/C/CHN/10/2)
United Nations Association (UNA) of the USA. 23 April 2005. San Diego Chapter. "Item 13 of the 61st Session of the UN Human Rights Commission. Statement on People's Republic of China's Violation of the Rights of the Child." (Clear Harmony, Falun Dafa in Europe)
United States (US). 14 September 2007. Department of State. "China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)." International Religious Freedom Report 2007.
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: A representative of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada provided published reports on the treatment of children of Falon Gong practitioners in China.
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), The Dui Hua Foundation, European Country of Origin Information Network (ecoi.net), Factiva, Freedom House, Human Rights in China (HRIC), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Laogai Research Foundation, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT), United Nations – Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC).