CCP and HK government's illegal assimilation of children
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
By NOT providing all children in China with their lawful right to education in their mother tongue the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and HK government are illegally practicing assimilation. CCP is breaching China's Constitution, UN obligations and international law!
Similarly, in Hong Kong (HK) since 1998 the government has been practicing assimilation against ethnic and linguistic minorities children. For example, HK governments' policy since 1989 is that all children in HK public purse funded schools speak Chinese and therefore only Chinese Medium of Instruction is provided for all students! (Please see below).
We remind everyone living, visiting or otherwise investing in Hong Kong (HK) that you are also a minority inside China! Everyone in HK is now treated like a minority group in China - no different from the Mongolians, Tibetians, Uyghur and other Muslims of Xinjiang. For example, consider the fate, legal issues and actions of the CCP and HK government for the 12 HK protesters recently arrested at sea by China.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is solely driven by its corruption and nationalist objectives! CCP is the self-proclaimed ruling "dicatorship of the people," and the worst authoritarian regime in history.
CCP must be held accuntable by the world for all of its actions. CCP is the source and spreader of SARS-COV-2 which caused the global pandemic COVID-19 which has now shut down a large portion of the world's economy. With 1.4 billion people to employ and feed, CCP now has a very serious problem!
The underlying problem is that nationalist CCP and HK government are narcissistic: they have an unhealthy total disregard for everyone except themselves. They actually believe their own propaganda!
CCP is yet again in breach of HK's 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration on the question of Hong Kong ("Joint Declaration") after it's annexation of HK through the illegal enactment by the NPC of HK's National Security Law.
The international standard required for all States treatment for ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities is the United Nations (UN)"Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities". CCP and HK do not comply!
Supposedly, CCP's education language policy in China is that all children first learn their mother tongue (which for children near Beijing would be Putonghua, or Mandarin); minorities and Han Chinese children in provinces other than Beijing later in Primary school learn Putonghua (the official language of China; presumably as a second language); when children are older English is taught as a second language in Secondary Schools.
The reality in China is that Han Chinese children will NOT learn their local Provincial dialect in schools - instead they learn Putonghua as their first language.
All children in China - including ethnic and linguistic minorities - are now learning Putonghua and simplified Chinese characters as their first language.
Some mainland Chinese parents in Guangdong Province send their children to HK schools so they can learn Cantonese and traditional Chinese characters; roughly 26,000 children from mainland China cross the HK border daily!
CCP's focus in China - including in Hong Kong - is the assimilation of ALL children, minorities and Han Chinese (except Beijing Han Chinese), by teaching Putonghua as a mother tongue language which is then used as the language for their Medium of Instruction.
In the not too distant future Putonghua will be introduced into HK schools for all students - just as it was in Guangdong. Local Guangdong (Cantonese) dialect is spoken in HK - HKers have so far resisted CCP moves for Putonghua to be used or to replace Cantonese in HK schools' for teaching.
The best way for HK to push back against CCP is to ensure unity among all HKers and the full rights of all minorities!
CCP is now facing increased pushback from minorities inside China - especially in Inner Mongolia (please see references below).
UN obligations for children's education is NOT being met by either CCP or HK government
UNCRC article 29.1 (a-e):
1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
It is our view that a child's understanding and abilities in the language of the Medium of Instruction is critical for a child’s full and correct development under UNCRC Article 29.1(a-e) “..to their full potential...” Using the language of the Medium of Instruction children learn their subjects through which ultimately they achieve 'education' according to UNCRC Article 29.1(a-e). Therefore in a “wholistic”approach to Education the choice of the language of the Medium of Instruction MUST be based solely upon the unique needs of each child to successfully achieve UNCRC Article 29.1 (a-e). It is the sole right of the Parents to decide the language of the Medium of Instruction.
Assimilation has been practiced since 1989 in HK public financed schools: HK government policy is that all students are 'Chinese' language speakers!
Increasingly the HK Han Chinese majority will be treated by the CCP as just another minority group in China to be oppressed.
The current policy of all HK students being Chinese speakers is based on a nationalist racist Han Chinese, HK government, HK elite, CCP, lie! There has always been ethnic and linguistic minorities students who are not Chinese speakers in HK's public funded education system! Roughly 8% of HK's population are not ethnic Han Chinese.
The Hong Kong (HK) government's position since 1998 is that 'Chinese' - Cantonese to be precise - is the language spoken by ALL children studying in HK public purse funded schools and therefore only Chinese (Cantonese) Medium of Instruction (CMI) is available. Prior to this English was the language of the Medium of Instruction (EMI) in HK public funded schools.
Since 1989 in HK there has never been a 'Chinese as a second language' program for ethnic and linguistic minorities children - and there never will because spoken Cantonese is primarily a spoken language that uses Putonghua as the written language.
In violation of the ICCPR HK Han Chinese students are learning Cantonese dialect, their mother tongue, in HK public funded schools: this is a public service available to the majority, but unavailable to the minorities. HK's ethnic and linguistic minorities children are NOT learning their mother tongue.
Not only is this assimilation - this program is designed to ensure the continued oppression of ethnic and linguistic minorities in HK based on limited job opportunities for those without the required language capacity. The core issue is social integration for everyone - which CCP and HK's ruling elite do not want!
According to HK government, HK is aiming to be 'tri-lingual' in Putonghua, Cantonese and English. There is no HK Ordinance that says which Chinese dialect (Putonghua or Cantonese) is the official dialect of HK. The HK government's "tri-lingual" is considered by the 'UN Committee on the Rights of Child' to be 'bi-lingual Chinese-English' (see below).
For more about HK's ethnic and linguistic minorities children in HK public funded schools please see our blog In Hong Kong the fox is in-charge of the chickens!:
“Discrimination” by HK State has been proven in October 2013 UN “Convention on the Rights of Child” (UNCRC) “Committee on the Rights of Child” Concluding Observations (quote): A. 13(c) “In Hong Kong, China, resource allocations to education and social welfare remain inadequate and do not effectively target the most vulnerable groups, particularly children of ethnic or linguistic minorities, asylum-seeking children, children living in poverty and children with disabilities." ; B. 77(b) “The de facto discrimination against ethnic minority children and racial segregation in the public school system, due to the availability of teaching only in Chinese and the system of government-subsidized “designated schools” for these children;”
Joint NGO submission to CERD May 2018 (quote, format added): “95. Despite the abolition of the designated school system in 2013, de facto racial segregation remains in place. 60% of children from ethnic minority backgrounds are concentrated in a few former designated schools, which are public schools with ethnic minority comprising 80 or 90% of the student body. These schools are neither conducive to students' Chinese language learning nor their social integration. Consequently, ethnic minority students graduating from these schools often have limited Chinese language ability dramatically affecting their social integration and career prospects.” 97. “Despite CERD’s concluding observation in 2009 (para 31, 2009), Chinese as a Second Language Curriculum is still absent. The current mainstream Chinese language curriculum assumes all students' mother tongue to be Chinese and the learning of other subjects also depends on a student's Chinese ability. The majority of ethnic minorities do not speak Chinese as a first language, and most ethnic minorities graduate from 12 year of education with Chinese abilities comparable to only mainstream primary two level. As a result, and as noted earlier, they enjoy limited further education, employment opportunities and upward social mobility.”
“Outcome” as proof of discrimination: HK University submission states “In 2006, EM (Ethnic Minority) children accounted for 3.2 per cent of the total student population at pre-primary level. This was commensurate with their population in Hong Kong. However, EM children accounted for only 1.1 per cent of the total student population at upper secondary level and for only 0.59 per cent at post-secondary level.”[“Education of Ethnic Minority Children,” Meeting of Legislative Council Panel on Education, 12 December 2011, Submission from the Centre for Comparative and Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong]. SCMP wrote in 2016 full time students total 52,129 only 5.3% of ethnic minorities were in post-secondary degree courses compared to 12.7% of Chinese students. [SCMP 24/7/2017 “language success of teen speaks volumes.”]
HKSAR Teachers University HKIEd’s study “Research on Poverty of Ethnic Minority Children in Hong Kong” of December 2015 “..The study also shows that the poverty risk of ethnic minority families is closely associated with the problem of assimilation….Through analyzing the 2001 and 2011 Hong Kong Population Census data, we found that families from South Asian, Other Asian and Other Racial groups have experienced an increase in poverty rates between 2001 and 2011, whereas the poverty rate of Chinese families has decreased during the same period. Among the South Asians, the Pakistani had the highest poverty rate in both 2001 (49.1%) and 2011 (59.6%).” “For all ethnic minorities, second generation immigrants have a higher risk of poverty than first generation immigrants.”
This HKIEd article findings is supported in HKSAR Government reports on minorities poverty as the situation is getting worse for minorities communities. The rate of ethnic minorities living below the poverty line had risen from 15.8 per cent in 2011 to 19.4 per cent in 2016. High rates of poverty for families means that in these minorities communities there is a disproportionate number of children facing serious welfare issues including housing, nutrition, healthcare, education, etc.
We note in closing, that during the current COVID Pandemic many people from ethnic minorities in HK are suffering much greater hardship and struggling more seriously than those in the mainstream.
The UN and international community must take action against CCP's and HK government's illegal assimilation of children!
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