Project information

Protection Through Witness - Tibet

Tibet Watch aims to contribute to the protection of the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people by providing accurate information about the situation inside Tibet, for the purposes of public awareness, national and international advocacy on behalf of the Tibetan people.

January 2016 - December 2016

Charity information: Tibet Watch

Tibet Watch logo
  • Need


    Fundamental human rights are frequently and seriously violated by state actors in Tibet. For example, according to the UN, torture is ‘widespread’ and ‘routine’. Tibetans cannot seek redress for rights violations and face serious risks, including life imprisonment, if they disseminate information. All communication streams are monitored and can be cut at ‘sensitive’ periods. Access into Tibet is heavily restricted, independent human rights monitors and journalists are routinely denied access.


    Tibet Watch secures corroborated information about human rights violations. This information is used by human rights advocates; UN-mandated human rights bodies, the media, Governments and campaigning organisations. Creating witness to serious rights violations provides protection. Tibet Watch has documented cases when advocacy has prevented torture, reduced sentences, forced the state to take a more proportionate response to large scale incidents and provide feedback on individuals.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Document human rights violations in Tibet


    » Conduct interviews with individuals who have been directly subject to, or an eye-witness to serious rights violations.
    » Secure and authenticate video and photographic evidence.
    » Review primary data against UN human rights monitoring standards.
    » Database individual cases and thematic examples for future reference and research.

    What success will look like

    Success will be cases secured by Tibet Watch used in the media and other public advocacy, the Chinese state forced to respond to individual cases and legislative reform.

    Aim 2

    Analyse the legal and political framework affecting fundamental human rights in Tibet


    » Identify new policies, laws, regulations, public statements via Chinese government online news sites and state media reports.
    » Analyse the implementation of new policies, laws and regulations, assessing the impact inside Tibet, including through test cases and interviews.
    » Translate and analyse government policies and procedures, notifications, court documentation.

    What success will look like

    Success will be new policies, laws etc. identified, potential and actual impact of any policy change understood and evidence secured to illustrate impact on the ground.

    Aim 3

    Measure the social and political opinions of Tibetans in Tibet


    » Monitor blogs, chat-rooms and other online sources for intelligence and opinion.
    » Undertake interviews with Tibetans.
    » Review and analyse secondary academic research and opinion pieces.

    What success will look like

    Success will be Tibetan opinions illustrated in the international media, amplified by campaigning groups and understood and responded to by Governments.

  • Impact


    Address the culture of impunity - By documenting rights violations Tibet Watch will hold up a mirror to what is happening inside Tibet. Help stop human rights violations - Tibet Watch collates and disseminates the details of individual cases to governments, the media and campaigning organisations who undertake advocacy. This advocacy can save lives, e.g. Jigme Gyatso, a documentary-maker, reported that after information was disseminated about his case, the torture he suffered lessened.


    The main risks to the project are; a strengthening of the restrictions on and monitoring of communication networks, including telephone lines and the Internet, and further restrictions on freedom of movement within as well as in and out of Tibet. The organisation has faced and successfully mitigated against these risks before, including in 2008 after large scale protests in Tibet. Mitigation strategies include strengthened contact networks and the effective use of online security tools.


    Donors will receive periodic reports, which will include examples of documented human rights violations, press cuttings of cases reported by the international media through campaigning organisations, and where applicable, reports from human rights bodies using Tibet Watch evidence.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £22,829

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,163 Human rights monitoring Team of researchers obtaining information from inside Tibet, maintaining networks and mapping trends
      £5,270 Office overheads Rent and other overheads required for the field office in Dharamsala, India
      £1,423 Secure communications Maintaining secure communication channels between researchers, information sources and head office
      £1,422 Network development Travel and attendance at events for network development purposes
      £1,502 Advocacy Travel and expenses associated with advocacy activities
      £3,049 Training and development Ongoing training and development (in security as well as human rights)

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Private Family Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
    Private Individual £3,000 Guaranteed
    Private Individual £500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Tibet Watch has staff in London and India.

    Tibet Watch’s London staff are responsible for financial management and administration. Information sourced by Tibet Watch is disseminated, via our London offices, to the international media, policy makers in the UK, Europe and the US and to campaigning organisations. UK-based Tibet Watch staff are also responsible for managing commissioned research.

    Tibet Watch staff in India are responsible for human rights monitoring.


    Primary beneficiaries are Tibetans in Tibet.

    The information sourced or commissioned by Tibet Watch is used in the international sphere by: international governmental organisations, including the UN Committee against Torture, by Government Ministries, parliamentarians and other decision makers in the global North and South, including the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the international media, including the BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The New York Times, Reuters, AFP.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Tibet Watch was established in 2006 and has a track record of securing accurate, corroborated information from Tibet, including in 2008 when despite severe restrictions on communications, Tibet Watch was the first organisation to secure photographic evidence of the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters. Tibet Watch is an organisation which Tibetans will approach to share information and externally is regarded as a trusted source of information.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren

    Director - leads on strategy and represents the organisation in public forums, for example gave oral evidence before the UN Committee Against Torture.

    Tsering Dorje

    Senior Analyst, leads on the human rights monitoring (HRM) and supports the other HRMs. Polylingual, fluent in Chinese, English and Tibetan.

"I knew it was the international community who had saved me.”

Environmental activist, Dorje, jailed and tortured for 2 years