School of Education Announces Annual Atrocity Studies Lecture on “Uyghur Genocide: The Ongoing Efforts for Accountability”

 During the spring 2024 Atrocity Studies Annual Lecture—presented by the Syracuse University School of Education—a panel of experts from the Uyghur Human Rights Project and Uyghur American Association, as well as a survivor of the Chinese Communist Party’s concentration camps, will discuss human rights abuses and crimes against humanity perpetrated against China’s Uyghur minority population and the pursuit of accountability and justice.  

“Uyghur Genocide: The Ongoing Efforts for Accountability” takes place on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at 6 p.m. in Watson Hall 036 on the Syracuse University campus. Details—including how the event can be streamed—are found at

The panelists will be Babur Ilchi, Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) Program Manager; Elfidar Iltebir, President of the Uyghur American Association; and concentration camp survivor Tursunay Ziyawudun. Julie Milsap, UHRP Government Relations Manager, will moderate.

According to the US Institute of Peace, China began a systematic campaign of human rights abuses against Uyghur and other vulnerable minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region more than a decade ago: “More than one million Uyghurs have been imprisoned in ‘re-education centers’ and subjected to forced labor, torture, rape, and sterilization. The United States and other nations have determined that these crimes constitute genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs.”

“The US is beginning to take action,” says Julia M. White, an associate professor and Director of the School of Education’s Atrocity Studies and the Practices of Social Justice minor program. “In late 2021, in response to the Uyghur forced labor program in the Xinjiang region, the US Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which prohibits importing goods, from textiles to solar panels, from this province. It is a start, but it is also a fraught diplomacy issue. This panel will provide context for and lived experiences of this genocide and the efforts to hold the Chinese government, and the world, accountable for these crimes.”

Supported by Lauri ’77 and Jeffrey Zell ’77, the annual spring atrocity studies lectures convene speakers from disciplines at the intersection of history, memory, and international human rights. The lectures fundamentally ask how we can use the lessons of the past to inform and improve our world.

The 2024 lecture is co-sponsored by the following Syracuse University departments and programs: Citizenship and Civic Engagement Program, College of Law Office of International Programs, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Department of Religion, Humanities Center, Journal of Global Rights and Organizations/Impunity Watch News, Lender Center for Social Justice, Maxwell School Social Science Ph.D. Program, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration.