Support for oppressed peoples in China

16 November 2011

Support for oppressed peoples in China

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel, speaking on behalf of the SP today on Het Plein, the square in front of the parliament building in The Hague, expressed the party’s solidarity with the Tibetan, Uyghur and other peoples who are oppressed in China. Earlier in the day he asked Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to ensure that the Dutch Ambassador for Human Rights would visit these peoples. The minister undertook to do all he could to make this possible.

Harry van BommelVan Bommel stressed in his speech to sixty Tibetan monks that the European Union and the Netherlands were inclined to tread very carefully in their relations with China. On the one hand countries within the EU have enormous economic interests in these relations, on the other there is also strong criticism of human rights abuses. “The destruction of the Tibetan culture can count on protest from the whole of the Dutch Parliament, protest which the government supports,” Van Bommel said.

In the parliamentary debate Van Bommel said that the government should improve its monitoring of Dutch businesses operating in China to ensure that they adhere to international standards of corporate responsibility. “The right to join a union and to meet freely must be respected in these firms,” the MP said. Rosenthal said that he was confident that this was regulated in Dutch companies there, but Van Bommel takes his lead, he says, from the principle that “trust is good, but surveillance is better”. He will during next week’s debate on the Foreign Affairs budget bring forward a proposal to ensure that Dutch enterprises are effectively monitored on this point.”

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