To Honourable G20 Leaders, 

Re: China’s Colonial Boarding Schools in Tibet 

We, a coalition of over 143 Tibet-related rights groups, are writing to you ahead of the G20 New Delhi Leader’s Summit on 9-10 September 2023, 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. 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 multilateral and bilateral 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 to this request.


Internationatonal Tibet Network

On behalf of 2,500+ supporters and the following 143 organisations:  


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

Centro De Cultura Tibetana
RangZen:Movimento Tibete Livre, Brasil

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

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


Aide aux Refugies Tibetains
Association Drôme Ardèche-Tibet
Briancon05 Urgence Tibet
France- Tibet
Liberté au Tibet (Colmar, France)
Lions Des Neiges Mont Blanc
Maison des Himalayas
Maison du Tibet – Tibet Info
Objectif Tibet
Passeport Tibetain
RBA Réseau Bouddhisme et Action, France
Students for a Free Tibet- France
Tashi Delek Bordeaux
Tibetan Community France

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

Anterrashtriya Bharat – Tibbet Sahyog Samiti
Balijara Foundation – Maharashtra
Bharat Tibbat Sahyog Manch
Bharat Tibbat Samanvay Sangh
Bharat Tibet Sangh – India
Bharat Tibet Sangh – Jammu
Bharrat Tibbat Samvad Manch, India
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
India Tibet Friendship Society – India
Jal Kalyan Seva Samiti, Rajasthan
National Campaign for Tibetan Support
National Democratic Party of Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet- India
The Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, East-Turkestan, Manchuria & Inner-Mongolia
Tibetan Women’s Association
Tibetan Youth Congress

India [Cont.] Tibet Friendship and Cooperation Society- Maharashtra
Tibet Friendship Society – Bihar
Tibet Friendship Society – Dashthrathpuni
Tibet Friendship Society – Delhi
Tibet Friendship Society – Muzaffarpur
Tibet Lives

Roof of the World Foundation

Associazione Italia-Tibet
Tibetan Community Italia  

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

Casa Tibet México
Voces de Tíbet

South Africa
Tibet Society of South Africa

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 Action Institute
Tibet Committee of Fairbanks
Tibetan Association of Ithaca
Tibetan Association of Northern California
Tibetan Association of Philadelphia
Tibet Justice Center
Tibetans of Mixed Heritage
United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT)
U.S. Tibet Committee


Rest of the World
Amigos de Tibet, Colombia
Amigos del Tíbet – Chile
Amigos del Tibet – El Salvador
Amigos del Tibet, Santiago de Chile
Asociación Cultural Peruano
Asociación Cultural Tibetano Costarricense
Centro Cultural Columbo Tibetano
Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina
Circle of Friends – Philippines
Comite de Apoyo al Tibet
Free Indo-Pacific Alliance
Friends of Tibet – Costa Rica
Friends of Tibet in Bulgaria
Friends of Tibet, New Zealand
Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan
Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People
Le Club Français – Paraguay
Students for a Free Tibet Taiwan
Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association
Taiwan Friends of Tibet
The Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities
Tibet Group – Panama
Tíbet Patria Libre – Uruguay
Tibet Rescue Initiative in Africa
Tibet Support Association Hungary
Tibet Support Group Kenya
Tibet Support Group, Costa Rica Tibetana
Tibetisches Zentrum Hamburg
World League for Freedom and Democracy