JUNE 2 & 3, 2022 - The Challenge of China

Protecting Human Rights and Democracy in the Global Institutions of the 21st Century

The People’s Republic of China (PRC), without a doubt, poses the most pressing human rights challenges since the creation of the United Nations and global institutions that were built to end war and protect human rights for all. What can the international community, specifically Canada, do to encourage China to conform to international human rights standards? How can we learn from Taiwan about how to deal with the human rights challenges posed by the PRC beyond its borders? Legal experts and social scientists from Taiwan, France, the US, Canada, and University of Ottawa will discuss what is at stake for Canada and its partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

Thursday, June 2 & Friday, June 3, 2022

See program below.

Sessions will be offered in person (limited number of participants) and online.
Room and links to the sessions will be confirmed to the registered participants.

Deadline for participation in person: May 24, 2022
Deadline for participation online: June 1st, 2022

 Day 1


8:30 | Welcome participants in person


Facilitator: Scott SIMON | Full Professor, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa

  • Joseph WU | ROC (Taiwan) Minister of Foreign Affairs (via video)
  • Errol MENDES | Full Professor, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, University of Ottawa
  • Yi-Chun CHOU | Director, Chang Fo-Chuan Centre for the Study of Human Rights and MA Program in Human Rights, Soochow University, Taiwan (via video)

10:00 | BREAK

10:15 | SESSION 1 — China Repressed, Taiwan Threatened

Session in French. Chair: André LALIBERTÉ | Full Professor, School of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa

  • Stéphane CORCUFF | Université de Lyon — Taiwan's Self-Determination
  • Chloé FROISSART | Professor in History and Political Science, Department of Chinese Studies, INALCO, France — Migrants' Access to Social Rights in China's Major Cities: What Defines "Rights"?
  • Isabelle HENRION-DOURCY | Full Professor, Department of Anthropology, Université Laval — Human Rights and Cultural Assimilation in Tibet

12:00 | LUNCH

13:15 | SESSION 2 — Broken Spirits: The Demise of Human Rights in China

Chair: Professor Scott SIMON

  • Lynette ONG | Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto — The Strategy of Brokered Repression
  • Darren BYLER | Assistant Professor, International Studies, Simon Fraser University — Critical Human Rights and the Case of Xinjiang
  • Pitman POTTER | Emeritus Professor of Law, University of British Columbia — China's Challenges to International Human Rights Standards


15:30 | SESSION 3 — Student Roundtable: Transnational Repression on Campus

Chair: Neuberger-Jesin Professor John PACKER | Associate Professor of Law, & Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa

  • Kewser KAMIL | Uyghur, Student at the University of Ottawa
  • Pema DOMA | Tibetan, Campaigns Director, Students for a Free Tibet
  • Tsung-Yu HO | Taiwanese, Ottawa Taiwanese Student Club

 Day 2

8:30 | Welcome participants in person


Facilitator: Professor André LALIBERTÉ

  • Keynote Speaker: Margaret LEWIS | Professor of Law, Seton Hall University

10:00 | BREAK

10:15 | SESSION 4 — Speaking Truth to Power about China

Chair: Professor Errol MENDES

  • Margaret McCUAIG-JOHNSON | Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa — Testimonies on the Ramping Up of Repression in China
  • Steven CHASE | Globe and Mail
  • Philippe MARTIN

12:00 | LUNCH

13:15 | SESSION 5 — Painting the Bigger Picture on China and Human Rights

  • André LALIBERTÉChina's Philosophical Diversity
  • John PACKERPluralism and Self-Determination
  • Scott SIMONIndigenous Rights and China
  • Errol MENDESContinuing the Journey


The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary during the academic year 2021-2022! This event is part of a diverse and rich programme developed to highlight this major milestone. #CREDP40HRREC

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