VIII. Detailed Recommendations

To the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)

  • Impose a moratorium on all resettlements until a mechanism can be established whereby independent experts carry out a review of policies that require or produce displacement and resettlement of Tibetan herders and other rural populations in Tibetan areas, the confiscation of their property, or imposed slaughter of their livestock.  This review should entail assessing the compliance under Chinese law, such as the new Property Rights Law 2007, and international law with the rights of Tibetan herders.
  • In instances in which consultation and compensation have not been adequate, undertake steps including offering the opportunity to return, to be resettled in an area nearby or like the one from which people were moved, and/or provide additional appropriate compensation as dictated by Chinese law.
  • Prior to future resettlements, local authorities should:
    • Conduct surveys of affected herders, their assets, and their socio-economic conditions, and use this information in determining the location to which they will be moved and ensuring that their standard living there will be the same or better.
    • Determine whether resettlement will render individuals vulnerable to violation of other human rights.
    • Provide adequate and reasonable notice for all affected persons.
    • Inform communities of available legal remedies to challenge a demand to resettle, so that individuals who wish to challenge the resettlement concerns are able to do so and have a fair adjudication of such a challenge.  Provide legal assistance for such claims.
    • In order to ensure transparency and accountability in the process of resettlement, institutionalize genuine community consultation that facilitates participation from all those effected by the policies.
    • Implement mechanisms by which low-income citizens can easily access information on proposed resettlements.
  • If the government wants to offer alternative land, aim to use land as close as possible to the original area, and ensure that alternative sites offer residents adequate opportunities to continue existing livelihood activities.
  • Where those affected by resettlement are unable to provide for themselves, take all appropriate measures to ensure that adequate alternatives are available, including the ability to return to a herding livelihood.
  • To comply with the recommendations of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and other human rights treaty obligations, review the new Property Rights Law 2007 to ensure it provides the greatest possible security of tenure to occupiers of houses and land.
  • Uphold the rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association.  Recognize the rights of herders to speak out publicly on resettlement, legal regulations, and other issues of concern.

To international donors

  • Ensure that funds lent for development projects in the areas described in this report are not resulting in forced resettlement.
  • Urge the Chinese government to conduct resettlements in accordance with laws regarding consultation and compensation and international standards of transparency and accountability.
  • Urge the Chinese government to allow local NGOs and civil society groups to monitor resettlements and report on whether they were carried out in compliance with the law.
  • Particularly for those international donors funding anti-corruption and environmental protection projects in China, raise the concerns addressed in this report.

To the United Nations

  • The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing should write to the Chinese government raising concerns about forced resettlement, and should request an invitation to conduct a mission to Tibetan areas.
  • The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous people should write to the Chinese government raising concerns about the treatment of Tibetans in general and Tibetan herders in particular, and should request an invitation to conduct a mission to Tibetan areas.
  • The Human Rights Council should endorse the Basic principles and guidelines on development-based evictions and displacement presented by the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing in his 2006 report to the Council, and invite all States to approve guidelines for such displacement as soon as possible.
  • The Human Rights Council and the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights should raise questions about China’s policy of forced resettlement.
  • Advocate that the Chinese government adopt the recommendations listed in this report.

To Chinese and international infrastructure companies investing in Tibetan areas

  • Before entering into any partnerships or contractual dealings with the national or local governments of China, demand assurances that the land for projects was acquired in a manner consistent with human rights obligations, and that former residents were adequately notified and compensated for their loss of land, property, and income.
  • Conduct an analysis of the process of forced resettlement in project areas, including an examination of persons currently living on the site, and the background and prior conduct of contractors and the local government actors.  Based on this analysis, develop policies that will minimize negative impact on residents.
  • Adopt explicit policies in support of human rights and establish procedures to ensure that the financing of projects, or participation in projects, does not contribute to, or result in, human rights abuses.  At a minimum, implement a policy to conduct a “human rights impact assessment” in coordination with local civil society groups. 
  • Ensure that your infrastructure projects do not result in forced resettlement.