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Apologies aren't enough: China urges inquiry into Canada's treatment of indigenous people
update:July 07,2021
July 7, 2021 -- Canada must do more than apologize for its historic treatment of indigenous people and take steps to remedy the harm caused, China's representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council has said.
Indigenous groups in Canada are currently conducting searches on the sites of former government schools following several discoveries of unmarked graves containing the bones of children. The schools had removed children from their communities as part of a government policy and kept them in sometimes brutal and insanitary conditions.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canadians are "horrified and ashamed" of the practices but refused to order a national investigation. China's Jiang Duan told the UN Human Rights Council that is not enough.
"Canada cannot simply apologize in a perfunctory manner, but must take real action to right the wrongs," Jiang said.
In a separate speech to the Council, Jiang blamed the U.S. and UK for holding back economic and social development in Syria, as well as handicapping the country's fight against the pandemic.
Sanctions and the enduring conflict fueled by external influences have increased the suffering of the Syrian people, he said.
"The U.S., UK and others ... are not really concerned about human rights issues at all, but use them as excuses and tools to invade, interfere, bully and discredit other countries," Jiang said.
The UK's representative told the council it was "the Syrian regime and their allies that bear the primary responsibility" for the situation in the country. Simon Manley said the UK was working to improve the human rights situation and called for the protection of humanitarian workers and medical and aid staff.
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