To Honorable G20 Foreign Ministers,

Re: China’s Colonial Boarding Schools in Tibet

We, a coalition of over 125 Tibet-related rights groups, are writing to you ahead of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in New Delhi urging you to take firm joint action concerning the Chinese government’s relentless colonisation of Tibet and attempts to eradicate Tibetans’ distinct identity.

Occupied for over seven decades, China’s rule in Tibet is one of the last remnants of 20th-century colonialism. This is epitomised by a vast and alarming system of colonial boarding schools and preschools housing close to 1-million Tibetan children. This equates to three out of every four Tibetan students ages 6-18 being separated from their parents and communities and living under state control. On top of this, it is estimated at least 100-150K four-and five-year-olds in rural areas are being forced to attend boarding preschools – where they must sleep – at least 5 nights a week – away from the care and protection of their parents.

On 6 February 2023 a group of UN human rights experts released a statement expressing alarm concerning “the residential school system for Tibetan children [that] appears to act as a mandatory large-scale programme intended to assimilate Tibetans into majority Han culture, contrary to international human rights standards.”

Further concern was raised by The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in Geneva expert committee members reiterated strong concern about the erosion of Tibetan language “in the push for a unified curriculum and the national common language policy”. This policy has resulted in Tibetan being replaced by Chinese as the medium of instruction in schools throughout Tibet, including in kindergartens where “Tibetan children as young as four to six are being sent to boarding schools where they are completely deprived of access to their language and their culture.”

By intentionally uprooting Tibetan children from their families and culture, making them live in state-run boarding schools, the Chinese authorities are using one of the most heinous tools of colonisation to attack Tibetan identity. While China claims to be educating Tibetan children, the world knows what it looks like when children are pushed into residential schools run by a state that wants to wipe out their culture, including high levels of alienation, loss of identity, and intergenerational trauma.

Given the gravity and urgency of this situation, we call on G20 leaders to address this attack on Tibetan identity with Chinese leaders in both multi-lateral and bi-lateral meetings. We further call on you to release a robust joint statement of concern that:
1. Urges the Chinese government to halt the residential boarding school and preschool system in Tibet and to uphold the current constitutional and statutory protections for Tibetan language promotion and preservation.
2. Denounces China’s attempts to eradicate Tibetans’ distinct identity, including their language, culture, history, and way of life.

Together your governments are uniquely positioned to exercise strong and direct influence on China’s leadership. By acting in unison, you will not only increase your influence over Beijing, but this common approach will provide participating governments with a greater measure of protection from China’s efforts to impose its authoritarian influence on our own democracies.

We look forward to your urgent response on this request.

Your sincerely

International Tibet Network on behalf of 131 G20 and global Tibet groups and organisations, listed below:


Tibetan Community of Victoria
Tibetan Community, Queensland
Sakya Trinley Ling
Tibet Action Group of Western
Tibet Support Group Adelaide 

RangZen:Movimento Tibete Livre
Centro De Cultura Tibetana

Canada Tibet Committee
Students for a Free Tibet – Canada
Tibetan Cultural Association – Quebec

European Union
Casa del Tibet – Spain
Czechs Support Tibet,
Phagma Drolma – Arya Tara
Les Amis du Tibet Luxembourg
Save Tibet Austria
Tibet Support Group – Ireland
Tibet Support Group – Netherlands
Tibetan Community Austria
Tibetan Community in Ireland
EcoTibet Ireland
Lungta Association Belgium
Friends of Tibet in Finland
Norwegian Tibet Committee
Tibet Support Committee Denmark
Tibetan Community in Denmark
Tibetan Community Sweden
Students for a Free Tibet Denmark
Save Tibet Foundation
Swedish Tibet Committee
Tibet cesky
Tibetan Programme of The Other Space Foundation TSG – Slovenia
Tibetan Youth Association in Europe
Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal
Les Amis du Tibet – Belgium

Aide aux Refugies Tibetains
Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet
Briancon05 Urgence Tibet
Lions Des Neiges Mont Blanc
Maison des Himalayas
Maison du Tibet – Tibet Info
Objectif Tibet
Passeport Tibetain
Students for a Free Tibet – France
Tashi Delek Bordeaux
Tibetan Community France

International Society of Human Rights, Munich
Tibetan Association of Germany
Tibet Initiative Deutschland

Anterrashtriya Bharat – Tibbet Sahyog Samiti
Balijara Foundation – Maharashtra
Bharat Tibet Sangh – India
Bharat Tibet Sangh – Jammu
Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch
Bharat Tibbat Samanvay Sangh
Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India
Foundation for Universal Responsibility of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Ganasamannay Kolkata
Himalayan Committee for Action on Tibet – Kinnaur Tibet Friendship and Cooperation Society
India Tibet Friendship Society – India
Tibet Friendship Society – Bihar
Tibet Friendship Society – Dashthrathpuni
Tibet Friendship Society – Delhi

India [Cont.]
Tibet Friendship Society – Muzaffarpur
National Campaign for Tibetan Support
National Democratic Party of Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet India
Tibet Lives
Tibetan Women’s Association
The Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, East-Turkestan, Manchuria & Inner-Mongolia
Tibetan Youth Congress
Tibet Friendship Society, Bharrat
Tibbat Sahyog Manch

Roof of the World Foundation

Associazione Italia-Tibet
Tibetan Community of Italy

Students for a Free Tibet Japan
Free Tibet Fukuoka
Dream for Children
Tibet Support Group Kiku
Japan Association of Monks for Tibet (Super Sangha)

Casa Tibet México
Voces de Tibet

United Kingdom
Free Tibet
Tibet Solidarity
Tibetan Community in Britain

United States
Association Cognizance Tibet, North Carolina
Bay Area Friends of Tibet
Boston Tibet Network
Committee of 100 for Tibet
International Campaign for Tibet
International Tibet Independence Movement
Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet
Sierra Friends of Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet
Tibet Committee of Fairbanks
Tibet Action Institute
Tibet Justice Center
Tibetan Association of Ithaca
Tibetan Association of Northern California
Tibetan Association of Philadelphia
Tibetans of Mixed Heritage
United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT)
U.S. Tibet Committee

Rest of the World
Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association
Comite de Apoyo al Tibet
Amigos de Tibet, Colombia
Amigos del Tíbet – Chile
Amigos del Tibet – El Salvador
Asociación Cultural Peruano Tibetana
Asociación Cultural Tibetano Costarricense
Friends of Tibet – Costa Rica
Le Club Français – Paraguay
Tibet Group – Panama
Tíbet Patria Libre – Uruguay
World League for Freedom and Democracy
Circle of Friends – Philippines
Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People
Tibet Support Group Kenya
Tibet Rescue Initiative in Africa
Friends of Tibet New Zealand
Taiwan Friends of Tibet
Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan
Students for a Free Tibet Taiwan