PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:34
How China is tearing Uyghur families apart
China
PHOTO: Stringer/AFP via Getty Images
China's heavy-lift Long March 5 rocket blasts off from its launch centre in Wenchang, south China's Hainan province on December 27, 2019. - China on December 27 launched one of the world's most powerful rockets in a major step forward for its planned mission to Mars in 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:58
China successfully launches Long March 5 rocket
china uyghur graves rivers newday pkg vpx_00001901.jpg
PHOTO: Getty Images
china uyghur graves rivers newday pkg vpx_00001901.jpg
Now playing
04:01
Uyghur gravesites in China wiped off the map
US President Donald Trump (L) and China
PHOTO: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (L) and China's President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. Donald Trump urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to work "hard" and act fast to help resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis, during their meeting in Beijing on November 9, warning that "time is quickly running out". / AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
01:10
Trump, China agree on 'phase one' trade deal
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 19: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Seven candidates out of the crowded field qualified for the 6th and last Democratic presidential primary debate of 2019 hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 19: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Seven candidates out of the crowded field qualified for the 6th and last Democratic presidential primary debate of 2019 hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:47
Biden: China cannot be allowed to continue Xinjiang abuses
US and Chinese flags are seen as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and China
PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
US and Chinese flags are seen as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet at the US Department of State May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:45
US blacklists 28 Chinese organizations and companies
PHOTO: Photo Illustration: CNNMoney/Getty Images/Shutterstock
Now playing
02:16
China retaliates after new US tariffs
china new military might original rivers_00000806.jpg
PHOTO: CCTV
china new military might original rivers_00000806.jpg
Now playing
02:26
China's push to modernize its military (2017)
liu xiaobo orig_00000024.jpg
PHOTO: PEN International
liu xiaobo orig_00000024.jpg
Now playing
01:24
The lovers even China couldn't keep apart
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 9:  Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcoming ceremony November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. Trump is on a 10-day trip to Asia.  (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 9: Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcoming ceremony November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. Trump is on a 10-day trip to Asia. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
05:18
How will tariffs affect US, China trading?
This picture taken on January 7, 2015 shows a man using his mobile phone at a Xiaomi shop in Beijing.    AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO / AFP / WANG ZHAO        (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: WANG ZHAO/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
This picture taken on January 7, 2015 shows a man using his mobile phone at a Xiaomi shop in Beijing. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO / AFP / WANG ZHAO (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:39
Can Xiaomi survive a trade war?
ROCKTON, IL - OCTOBER 9:  John Shedd, 85, loads a container with Bt-corn harvested from his son
PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty Images
ROCKTON, IL - OCTOBER 9: John Shedd, 85, loads a container with Bt-corn harvested from his son's farm October 9, 2003 near Rockton, Illinois. Shedd and his son farm 800 acres of the corn on farms in Illinois and Wisconsin. Bt-corn is a GMO (genetically modified organism) crop that offers growers an alternative to spraying an insecticide for control of European and southwestern corn borer. The Shedds sell the corn for use in ethanol. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:54
China is hitting the US where it hurts: Soybeans
Xi Jinping can now rule for life
Xi Jinping can now rule for life
Now playing
01:07
Is he the most powerful man in the world?
(CNN) —  

The United Nations has requested direct access to “re-education camps” in China’s Xinjiang province, where more than one million Muslim majority Uyghurs have reportedly been imprisoned.

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that she wanted to verify “worrying reports” the organization had received.

Former detainees claim they were tortured and forced to learn Chinese Communist Party propaganda at the massive camps.

Beijing says the camps are voluntary vocational training centers, designed to stamp out extremist tendencies among the Uyghur population.

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.”

UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet in her office on September 3 in Geneva.
PHOTO: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet in her office on September 3 in Geneva.

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.

“I am shocked by reports of the treatment of the Turkic Uyghur minority … I would have liked to have gained a first-hand impression of the situation there and will continue to push for permission to visit Xinjiang soon,” she said in a statement Tuesday.

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.

The Chinese government has repeatedly defended its human rights record, saying quality of life has risen dramatically over the past four decades.

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.”