Mr De Schutter criticised the policy of forcibly resettling nomadic herders and said that this policy, in relation to herders in Tibet in particular, raised ‘legitimate and important concerns’.
Mr De Schutter’s concluding comments on the policy of forcibly resettling nomadic herders followed statements made by Human Rights Watch and the Helsinki Foundation in which they called for an end to the non-voluntary relocation of nomads until consultations could take place with the parties as the nomads were finding themselves often ‘worse off’ in relation to access to food. Mr De Schutter also drew to the Council’s attention that since March 2011, there had been 25 self immolations in Tibet against the land resettlement policies of which 18 had been herders forcibly resettled in collective villages.
Mr. Schutter said that the resettlement policies were failing because since March 2011, 25 Tibetans self-immolated in protest against the policies that are implemented in this region. He said 18 of the 25 who burned themselves were actually herders forcibility resettled in the new socialist villages. “This I have to say is not compatible with the idea that these would be I quote “very popular polices”, he said.
Responding to Chinese delegation statement that the Special Rapporteur hadn’t been to Tibet, he said, “I am told that I can’t comment on this because I cannot travel to Tibet.
China stated that it ‘categorically rejected’ the ‘groundless’ allegations made by the non-governmental organisations. China expressed its disappointment with the Special Rapporteur’s remarks, which it believed were outside of his mandate.
The delegation said that the nomadic herders were resettled to improve the sustainable economic and social developments in the region and has been widely supported by farmers and herders. The resettlement of nomads and herders in China’s Western provinces including Tibet were “very popular polices”.