Title of Abstract

Social Surveillance State: Evaluating Human Rights Violations in China

Submitting Student(s)

Sarah Hicks

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Jennifer Disney, Ph.D.; Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez, Ph.D.; & Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Political Science

Abstract

The newly implemented social credit system in China has led to internment camps and systematic discriminatory practices against both ethnic minorities and other vulnerable populations. Some of the worst affected populations of these programs are the ethnic minorities in China, such as the Uyghurs and Tibetans. This research project examines the discriminatory effects of the social credit system on Chinese citizens, specifically analyzing the negative effects on the ethnic Turkic Muslim and Uyghur population compared to the Han Chinese citizens. As a surveillance state, China’s government is notorious for censoring information about any negative aspects of their society by monitoring what every citizen is saying. Therefore, in order to study the effects of the social credit system, I investigate various government documents along with outside reports of the treatment of China’s minority populations. I hypothesize that these programs only serve the purpose of further inhibiting the minority population of Muslim Uyghurs. While many in the international community criticized the social credit system introduced in 2020 for violating myriad human rights, there is so far very little policy action to put an end to the mistreatment of ethnic minorities. Especially alarming to international observers is the government’s current practice of moving Uyghurs into concentration camps. In this paper, I argue for a call to action on the international community to put an end to the multiple human rights violations China has facilitated by using the novel social credit system.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Social Surveillance State: Evaluating Human Rights Violations in China

The newly implemented social credit system in China has led to internment camps and systematic discriminatory practices against both ethnic minorities and other vulnerable populations. Some of the worst affected populations of these programs are the ethnic minorities in China, such as the Uyghurs and Tibetans. This research project examines the discriminatory effects of the social credit system on Chinese citizens, specifically analyzing the negative effects on the ethnic Turkic Muslim and Uyghur population compared to the Han Chinese citizens. As a surveillance state, China’s government is notorious for censoring information about any negative aspects of their society by monitoring what every citizen is saying. Therefore, in order to study the effects of the social credit system, I investigate various government documents along with outside reports of the treatment of China’s minority populations. I hypothesize that these programs only serve the purpose of further inhibiting the minority population of Muslim Uyghurs. While many in the international community criticized the social credit system introduced in 2020 for violating myriad human rights, there is so far very little policy action to put an end to the mistreatment of ethnic minorities. Especially alarming to international observers is the government’s current practice of moving Uyghurs into concentration camps. In this paper, I argue for a call to action on the international community to put an end to the multiple human rights violations China has facilitated by using the novel social credit system.