|Type||Non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable corporation|
|Focus||Human rights activism|
Tibet Justice Center, (TJC, formerly International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet, ICLT) is an American legal association founded in 1989 that advocates human rights and self-determination for the Tibetan people.
The association is a non-governmental organization in Oakland, California, United States, defending human rights and self-determination for the people of Tibet.Through legal and educational activities ICLT promotes human rights, environmental protection, and peaceful resolution of the situation in Tibet.
Founded in the U.S. in 1989 as the International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet, it is historically the first and only association legal to support the cause of Tibet.The creation of the association was suggested by Michael van Walt van Praag, legal advisor to the 14th Dalai Lama, and John Ackerley, an attorney member of International Campaign for Tibet. Through meetings in Northern California held in the four main schools of law and two general conferences, fifteen lawyers and law students and a dozen of other interested people joined the new association.
In 1999, the association had 1,200 members, of whom one third are lawyers .
In 2000, Robert D. Sloane, a professor at the Boston University School of Law, joined the association and became Chairman of the Board.
Working with Amnesty International, the TJC was able to obtain the release of Gendun Rinchen, a Tibetan guide in Lhasa jailed in 1993 for passing reports on the violation of human rights in Tibet.In March 1996, he participated with Jerry Brown, Harry Wu and Orville Schell to an event in San Francisco in favor of TJC.
A delegation of six members of the TJC, Chimi Thonden, Yoden Thonden, Tenki Tendufla, Lisa Tracy and Eva Herzer, participated in the NGO Forum at the World Conference on Women in Beijing UN in 1995.However, a 2015 documentary "Makers" does show that the organization's visa application was denied by the Chinese Government.
The TJC participated in the Conference Habitat II (en) of the United Nations Programme for Human Settlements in Istanbul, Turkey on 5 June 1996, Eva Herzer, then President of TJC, gave a lecture entitled The destruction of Holy Lhasa: A case study.On 10 June, the association organized a workshop on Housing Rights Violations in Tibet: a case study of the application of international law.
In 1999, TJC conducted a campaign to adopt resolutions by cities and states across the United States asking the Government of China to respect the human rights of Tibetans and to negotiate an acceptable solution to the issue of Tibet with Tibetan representatives, based on the will of the Tibetan people.
In November 1999, the TJC sent three lawyers and two psychologists interviewed 57 children in a Tibetan refugee camp in India. In June 2000, the Association published a report stating that Tibetan children older than six years are detained and tortured for political and religious offenses in China. According to refugee children in India interviewed beatings and electric shocks administered to children imprisoned for offenses ranging from writing the word independence in a school for the use of photos of the Dalai Lama's book.
According to Mayank Chhaya, if the concept of self-governance by the autonomy has been studied for some time, it was not until about the 2000s that lawyers have seriously examined the different models that could be applied to Tibet. Eva Herzer, the founder of TJC, worked with the Tibetans in exile to consider a model of self-governance.Dagmar Bernstorff and Hubertus von Welck note that publication on the subject by TJC prompt a conference that brought together experts in international law, ministers, parliamentarians and Tibetan leaders in November 1999 in New Delhi evaluating opportunities agreement between Tibet and China.
According to Michael C. Davis, Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the analysis by the association of indexes among 34 cases of territorial autonomy in the world reveals that Chinese policy of autonomy in Tibet is only nominal. A severe deficiency of real autonomy appears in the system established by the Chinese government. The TJC report highlights areas of autonomy in the world: cultural affairs, education, health and social services, taxes, economy, natural resources, environmental policies, posts and telecommunications, transport and the judicial police. These areas are covered by local autonomies in Chinese politics at Hong Kong, Macao, and that promised to Taiwan. In all these areas, the Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region is subordinate to the central government.For J. M. Mukhi, lawyer at the Supreme Court of India, the study of Eva Ezer, encyclopedic in scope, shows that there is little hope that Tibetans can benefit from self-governance without democratic change China.
TJC has undertaken in-depth on-the-ground research into the situation for Tibetan refugees living in India and Nepal, looking at what their status is under national law, what rights they are allowed in practice, and the effects this has on their lives and livelihoods. "Tibet's Stateless Nationals: Tibetan Refugees in Nepal" was published in 2002. "Tibet's Stateless Nationals II: Tibetan Refugees in India" was published in 2010. And "Tibet's Stateless Nationals III: Tibetan Refugees in India Update" was published in 2016.
TJC worked with Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) and Prof. Fiona McConnell of the University of Oxford on an 18-month project looking at the challenges faced when activists and advocates from unrepresented nations and peoples conduct UN advocacy. In 2015-17 we worked with 77 participants across three skills-sharing workshops (in Brussels, Geneva and Oxford), and a Training of Trainers (Geneva), and produced a survey of 65 activists worldwide, an 80-page DIY training manual on how to conduct successful UN advocacy, and a report based on the survey and 20 in-depth interviews called "Compromised Space: Bullying and Blocking at the UN Human Rights Mechanisms", published in 2018.
In 1995, the association has submitted a report to the UN on women's rights.In this report, the association said that Tibetan women are often forced to undergo abortions and sterilization operations. These women are also constrained by threats by the People's Republic of China to arrest and imprison their husbands if they do not submit to abortion and sterilization.
In 1999, the association has conducted a survey on children's right and produced a report to the UN.
In 2013, the association submitted a document for the pre-session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination's review of China.
In 2013, TJC worked with the International Tibet Network to establish the Tibet Advocacy Coalition, along with third founding member Students for a Free Tibet. In 2017, Tibetan Youth Association Europe, and Tibet Initiatives Deutschland joined as core groups. Over the past 6 years we have established a successful model to enable Tibet groups to build more coordinated, strategic advocacy at UN level. We have worked with Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, International Campaign for Tibet, Tibet Watch, Free Tibet, World Uyghur Congress, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, Initiatives for China, Human Rights in China, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, and International Service for Human rights during the mentioned projects. The Coalition has a monitoring tool for progress in Tibet called the Human Rights Action Plan - Tibet, which collects together in one place all UN resolutions, recommendations, observations and action on Tibet on key human rights issues.
Tibet Advocacy Coalition successes:
The Central Tibetan Administration or CTA is an organisation based in India. The CTA is also referred to as the Tibetan Government in Exile which has never been recognized by China. Its internal structure is government-like; it has stated that it is "not designed to take power in Tibet"; rather, it will be dissolved "as soon as freedom is restored in Tibet" in favor of a government formed by Tibetans inside Tibet. In addition to political advocacy, it administers a network of schools and other cultural activities for Tibetans in India. On 11 February 1991, the CTA became a founding member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) at a ceremony held at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.
Human rights in China is periodically reviewed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), on which the government of the People's Republic of China and various foreign governments and human rights organizations have often disagreed. PRC authorities, their supporters, and other proponents claim that existing policies and enforcement measures are sufficient to guard against human rights abuses. However other countries and their authorities, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as Human Rights in China and Amnesty International, and citizens, lawyers, and dissidents inside the country, state that the authorities in mainland China regularly sanction or organize such abuses. After Xi Jinping succeeded General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in 2012, human rights in China have become worse.
The Tibetan independence movement is a political movement for the independence of Tibet and the political separation of Tibet from China. It is principally led by the Tibetan diaspora in countries like India and the United States, and by celebrities and Tibetan Buddhists in the United States, India and Europe. The movement is no longer supported by the 14th Dalai Lama, who although having advocated it from 1961 to the late 1970s, proposed a sort of high-level autonomy in a speech in Strasbourg in 1988, and has since then restricted his position to either autonomy for the Tibetan people in the Tibet Autonomous Region within China, or extending the area of the autonomy to include parts of neighboring Chinese provinces inhabited by Tibetans.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is an international human rights non-governmental organization. It is a standing group of 60 eminent jurists—including senior judges, attorneys and academics—who work to develop national and international human rights standards through the law. Commissioners are known for their experience, knowledge and fundamental commitment to human rights. The composition of the Commission aims to reflect the geographical diversity of the world and its many legal systems.
Free Tibet (FT) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1987 and based in London, England. FT, according to their mission statement, advocates for “a free Tibet in which Tibetans are able to determine their own future and the human rights of all are respected.”
The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is a non-profit advocacy group working to promote democratic freedoms for Tibetans, ensure their human rights, and protect Tibetan culture and the environment. Founded in 1988, ICT is the world's largest Tibet-related NGO, with several thousand members and strong bases of support in North America and Europe. On March 15, 2018, the ICT completed 30 years of service to the Tibetan community and received a video message from the Dalai Lama. ICT also released its new logo. An event was also held in the United States Congress on March 6, 2018 to mark the event with Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Jim McGovern, ICT Chairman Richard Gere, Representative Ngodup Tsering and ICT Board Member Tempa Tsering making remarks.
The Tibetan sovereignty debate refers to two political debates. The first is whether the various territories within the People's Republic of China (PRC) that are claimed as political Tibet should separate and become a new sovereign state. Many of the points in the debate rest on a second debate, about whether Tibet was independent or subordinate to China in certain parts of its recent history.
The history of Tibet from 1950 to the present started with the Chinese invading Tibet in 1950. Before then, Tibet had declared independence from China in 1913. In 1951, the Tibetans signed a seventeen-point agreement reaffirming China's sovereignty over Tibet and providing an autonomous administration led by Dalai Lama. In 1959 the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet to northern India under cover where he established the Central Tibetan Administration. The Tibet Autonomous Region within China was officially established in 1965.
The Australia Tibet Council (ATC) is an independent, non-profit Australian organisation working to promote the human rights and democratic freedoms of the Tibetan people. ATC is funded solely by members and supporters. The organisation's headquarters are in Sydney.
The 14th Dalai Lama is the current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are important monks of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism, which was formally headed by the Ganden Tripas. From the time of the 5th Dalai Lama to 1959, the central government of Tibet, the Ganden Phodrang, invested the position of Dalai Lama with temporal duties.
The Tibetan diaspora is a term used to refer to the communities of Tibetan people living outside their original homeland of Tibet. Tibetan emigration has three separate stages. The first stage was in 1959 following the 14th Dalai Lama's escape to Dharamshala in India, in fear of persecution from the People's Liberation Army. The second stage occurred in the 1980s, when China partially opened Tibet to foreigners. The third stage began in 1996 and continues today although with less frequency. Not all emigration from Tibet is permanent; today some parents in Tibet send their children to communities in the diaspora to receive a traditional Tibetan education. The 2009 census registered about 128,000 Tibetans in exile, with the most numerous part of the community living in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. However, in 2005 and 2009 there were estimates of up to 150,000 living in exile.
Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari Rinpoche, Kasur Lodi Gyari or "as he is universally known to the Tibetan-speaking world, Gyari Rinpoche" was a Tibetan politician, and journalist who served as the 14th Dalai Lama's special envoy to the United States. Exiled to India in 1959, he was also the executive chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet.
Tsering Dolma Gyaltong is a Tibetan spiritual leader who lives in exile in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tsering has been active in being an Founding Member of the Tibetan Women's Association and re-establishing it again in 1984.
Human rights in Tibet are a contentious issue. According to a 1992 Amnesty International report, judicial standards in China, including in autonomous Tibet, were not up to "international standards". The report charged the Chinese Communist Party government with keeping political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, including the death penalty in its penal code, ill-treatment of detainees and inaction in the face of ill-treatment of detainees, including torture, the use of the death penalty, extrajudicial executions, forced abortions, and sterilisation. The status of religion, mainly as it relates to figures who are both religious and political, such as the 14th Dalai Lama, is a regular object of criticism.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy investigates and reports on human rights issues in Tibet and among Tibetan minorities throughout China. It is the first Tibetan non-governmental human rights organization to be established in exile in India. TCHRD promotes the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, publishes news articles on the censorship and discrimination faced by Tibetans in Tibet; keeps databases on political prisoners, Tibetan's who have self-immolated, and Tibetans who have died in detention; and publishes reports and yearly human rights updates. TCHRD has emphasized that an "important source of support for the Tibetan people comes from the Chinese community from both within and outside China."
The Tibet Post International, an online publication founded by a group of Tibetan journalists with the primary goal of promoting democracy through freedom of expression within Tibetan communities both within and outside of Tibet.
Protests and uprisings in Tibet against the government of the People's Republic of China have occurred since 1950, and include the 1959 uprising, the 2008 uprising, and the subsequent self-immolation protests.
As of 5 June 2017 there have been 148 confirmed and two disputed self-immolations reported in Tibet since 27 February 2009, when Tapey, a young monk from Kirti Monastery, set himself on fire in the marketplace in Ngawa City, Ngawa County, Sichuan. In 2011, a wave of self-immolations by Tibetans in Tibet, as well as in India and Nepal, occurred after the self-immolation of Phuntsog of 16 March 2011 in Ngawa County, Sichuan. Protests are ongoing.
According to the Tibetan government in exile, prostitution as an industry was virtually non-existent before the Chinese occupation of Tibet. According to the Tibetan Women's Association: "In the past, in Tibet there were no brothels". Tibetan lawyer Lobsang Sangay recognizes the existence of prostitution before the arrival of the Chinese, but he says that the phenomenon was minimal compared to its current extent. According to the British writer Christopher Hale, due to the practice of polyandry in Tibet, many women were unable to find a husband and moved to villages and towns, where they fell into prostitution. Their clients came from the caravans crossing the Tibetan plateau, and also from the monasteries.