UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that she wanted to verify “worrying reports” the organization had received.
However Bachelet said the UN had offered technical assistance in dealing with violent extremism, adding: “We wish to engage China in a serious dialogue on this pressing matter.”
The call came a day after Barbel Kofler, the German Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, said she was refused permission to visit the camps during a trip to China.
Kofler added that she was “deeply concerned” by human rights in China.
“This is particularly affecting the critical voices in civil society — human rights lawyers, journalists and bloggers,” she said.
At a UN hearing on China’s human rights record in November, more than a dozen countries called on Beijing to end their “arbitrary detention” of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
But the UN’s Bachelet said Wednesday that human rights “are not divisible.”
“You cannot prioritize, you cannot say these human rights are important and the other ones not … You cannot invite somebody to your home, feed them, but don’t allow them to speak,” she said.
“You have to ensure that all human rights are protected.”