Chinese Government Human Rights Abuses Go Global

Thursday, March 7, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.

Sophie Richardson seminar

Since the early 1990s democracies, including European Union member states, Japan, and the United States, have claimed to promote human rights in China. Yet under Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping's decade-long rule modest gains have been reversed, and state-driven abuses now range from pervasive high-tech surveillance to crimes against humanity. Not only has external engagement failed to deter this downward spiral, democracies appear ill-prepared to cope with the Xi regime's increasing threats to democratic processes, the freedom of expression, and the international institutions meant to protect these rights in their own countries. How and why have these democracies failed, and can how can they better insulate themselves from these threats?


Sophie Richardson is currently researching democracies’ support for human rights in China. From 2006-2023, she served as the China Director at Human Rights Watch, overseeing the organization’s research and advocacy on Chinese government human rights abuses inside and outside the country. She has worked closely with civil society groups, governments, and United Nations bodies, and published extensively on the topic. Dr. Richardson has testified to the Canadian Parliament, European Parliament, and the United States Senate and House of Representatives. She is the author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (Columbia University Press, Dec. 2009), an in-depth examination of China's foreign policy since 1954's Geneva Conference, including rare interviews with Chinese policy makers. She speaks Mandarin and received her doctorate from the University of Virginia and her BA from Oberlin College.

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to Encina E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.