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Human Rights Action Plan of China (2021-2025)

CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-09-10 07:23

IV. Protecting the Rights of Particular Groups

China will continue to ensure equal rights for ethnic minority groups, women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and other disadvantaged groups and improve special protection for them. It will introduce a mechanism to this end, for both everyday work and special occasions, to provide for the well-rounded development of all.

1. Rights of Ethnic Minority Groups

Upholding and improving regional ethnic autonomy, the government supports ethnic minority areas in their endeavors to pursue faster development, and protects the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic minority groups, with the goal of heightening the sense of identity of the Chinese nation.

-Governing ethnic affairs by law. China fully enforces the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy. It will improve laws and regulations related to ethnic minorities and their affairs, and ensure citizens from all ethnic groups are equal before the law. China opposes any form of ethnic discrimination.

-Protecting the right to participate as equals in administering state and social affairs. All ethnic groups have a certain proportion of deputies to the NPC. In areas with large ethnic minority populations, all ethnic minority groups are guaranteed to have deputies to local people's congresses. All 55 ethnic minority groups have deputies to the NPC, and those with very small populations have at least one deputy. More efforts will be made to train and select ethnic minority officials.

-Protecting the right to economic development. The state will improve differentiated policies for supporting and helping ethnic minority areas to pursue faster growth, and make greater efforts to help border areas and their residents to achieve prosperity, so that people of all ethnic groups enjoy better lives.

-Protecting the right to education. The state will improve the quality of education and promote standard spoken and written Chinese in ethnic minority areas. Preschool education will be accessible for more residents in these areas, compulsory education will develop more evenly, and paired-up assistance in education will be carried out more effectively, to cultivate talent of all kinds and at all levels.

-Protecting the right to learn, use and develop their own spoken and written languages. The state protects by law the legitimate use of the spoken and written languages of ethnic minorities in the areas of administration and judicature, press and publishing, radio, film and television, and culture and education. It will step up protection of the spoken and written languages of ethnic minorities.

-Protecting cultural rights. The state will further promote the continuation, protection, improvement, and integration of ethnic cultures, and bring better public cultural services to ethnic minority areas. Traditional ethnic minority cultures will be better protected and passed on. Greater efforts will be made in preserving, rescuing, cataloguing, publishing and studying ancient books of ethnic minorities, which will also be stored in digital forms. China will hold the sixth National Ethnic Minority Variety Performance. More domestically made TV series will be made available free of charge for dubbing into ethnic minority languages.

2. Women's Rights

China will continue to implement the basic national policy of gender equality, and enforce the Outline for the Development of Women in China (2021-2030). It will improve the environment for women's development, facilitate their exercise of rights prescribed by law as equal citizens, increase their participation in socioeconomic development, and ensure their share of development benefits.

-Promoting women's participation as equals in administering state and social affairs. China ensures women's equal political rights, and encourages their participation in social affairs and democratic management. The proportion of women will be increased gradually in people's congresses and people's political consultative conferences at all levels. China will train and select more women officials, and in particular increase the number of women on village/community committees steadily. Women will be encouraged to participate extensively in consultation and deliberation on grassroots affairs.

-Improving the legal framework for protecting women's rights and interests. China will revise the Law on the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests. The prosecuting bodies will introduce public interest litigation in some areas on a trial basis. They can make procuratorial suggestions or initiate public interest lawsuits regarding acts that degrade or undermine women's dignity via mass media or other means, acts that infringe upon women's property rights, acts that discriminate against women in employment, failure to perform the duties to prevent and stop domestic violence, and other acts that undermine the legitimate rights and interests of a number of unspecified women and harm the public interest.

-Protecting women's personal rights. China advocates a family culture underpinned by gender equality and sharing of responsibilities. The state prohibits and acts to prevent all forms of domestic violence against women. It issues personal protection orders and admonitions against domestic violence by law, and effectively prevents and combats sexual assaults on and trafficking of women. It will increase public awareness against sexual harassment, take effective measures to curb sexual harassment directed at women, and protect women from cybercrimes.

-Protecting women's property rights. The state protects women's property and inheritance rights, and the rights to know about and dispose of community property on an equal basis in the family. Rural women are guaranteed equal rights to land contract and management, to the use of rural residential land, and other real estate, and to a share in the collective income of their villages and compensation for land expropriation and resettlement.

-Protecting women's equal right to education. The state protects women's equal right to compulsory education, senior-high education, and higher learning in accordance with the law. More support will be given to cultivating women technicians and scientists, and to lifelong learning for women.

-Protecting women's equal right to employment. Gender discrimination in employment will be eliminated. When recruiting, employers cannot select from male candidates only or make any preference of male candidates over female candidates, unless otherwise specified by the state. Gender discrimination in employment will come under the supervision of labor security. Those suspected of gender discrimination in employment will receive admonitions and warnings from relevant state departments.

-Promoting gender equality in the workplace. Employers will formulate mechanisms that ensure gender equality in terms of employment, salary, career development and maternity protection, and mechanisms that help employees, women in particular, balance work and family responsibilities, prevent and stop workplace sexual harassment, and ultimately, make the workplace family-friendly.

-Alleviating women's burden of childrearing. Public-interest childcare services will be developed. Support will be given to developing private childcare services and community facilities in 150 cities. More resources will be channeled to rural areas as well as urban areas with large population inflows, and measures will be taken to increase access to public-interest preschool education. After-class services will be strengthened at elementary and secondary schools, and parental leave will be provided on a trial basis, so as to alleviate the burden of bearing, raising and educating children.

-Protecting women's access to health services. Efforts will be strengthened to prevent and treat common diseases in women, and the prevention and control mechanism for cervical and breast cancer and the policies for helping victims in need will be improved. Pilot programs will be initiated to provide targeted health services for women in adolescence, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and old age, so that their health needs are covered throughout their life cycle. The five mechanisms for maternal and infant safety [This refers to the mechanisms of pregnancy risk screening and evaluation, management of high-risk pregnancies and lying-in women, emergency treatment of critical and severe cases, maternal mortality case reporting, and admonition of underperforming health care providers] will be consolidated to ensure a steady decline in maternal and perinatal mortality rate. More rooms for nursing mothers and family restrooms will be built.

-Supporting women in need. Governments at all levels and relevant departments shall take necessary measures to ensure the rights of low-income or seriously ill women, those with disabilities, those left behind by their migrant worker partners, single mothers and other women in need, and provide them with necessary assistance and services.

3. Children's Rights

The state prioritizes children's protection. By carrying out the Program for the Development of Children in China (2021-2030), it is committed to ensuring children's rights to survival, development, protection and participation, narrowing the gap in children's development between urban and rural areas, and among different parts of the country and communities, and promoting the healthy and well-rounded development of children.

-Protecting minors' right to dignity. Faculties and staff of schools and kindergartens should respect minors' dignity. They must not use corporal punishment in any form against minors or degrade their dignity in any other way. Beatings, corporal punishment, maltreatment and all other forms of domestic violence against children are prohibited. No organization or individual may degrade, defame, threaten or maliciously damage the image of minors in the forms of text, picture, audio and video through the internet. Minors' privacy and personal information are protected. News media should report on events involving minors in an objective, prudent and befitting manner, and must not infringe on the reputation, privacy and other lawful rights of minors.

-Protecting children's rights to be informed and participate. Reasonable suggestions from children should be heard and adopted. Before making decisions concerning the rights and interests of minors, the parents or other guardians of minors should hear what they think and consider their wishes fully, with due consideration to their age and mentality.

-Improving the protection of children's right to health. Measures will be taken to improve children's health services, prevent and control childhood illnesses, and reduce the incidences of child mortality and severe birth defects. Children should be guided to eat healthy, balanced meals. Effective measures will be taken to control obesity and myopia among children, and nutritional improvement programs will be launched for preschoolers. Children should follow suitable daily schedules, and be exposed to natural sunlight and exercise with moderate or greater intensity for at least one hour a day. Mental health education and services for children will be strengthened, and there will be teachers to provide such education and services in all elementary and secondary schools.

-Protecting the rights of children with disabilities. The mechanism for screening, diagnosing and treating children with disabilities and for their rehabilitation will be improved, and a system of reporting and sharing information on disabilities will be established. The state will build designated rehabilitation centers for disabled children, aiming to provide universal access to basic rehabilitation services for such children. The state will ensure that no school-age disabled child who has the ability to learn is out of school. More efforts will be invested in training teachers and pooling resources for special education.

-Caring for children in need. Children in need under different categories will be provided with more targeted care. The mechanisms for supporting orphans and de facto orphans will be improved. The state supports the development of children's welfare institutions, and helps them to provide better foster care, education and health services for orphans and abandoned children. Orphans and unattended children will receive allowances on par with the average local living standards or higher. Left-behind children in rural areas will receive better care and protection. Street patrols will be carried out to ensure that homeless children are cared for, identified and escorted back home in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

-Strengthening the protection of minors by law. In accordance with the revised Law on the Protection of Minors and the Law on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency, the state will improve the protection of minors at home, at school, in society, on the internet, and in the administrative and judiciary systems. It will take strong measures to fight crimes against minors, prevent juvenile delinquency, and control the juvenile crime rate at a lower level in global comparison. The legal framework for affairs relating to minors will be improved. A one-stop mechanism for collecting evidence for cases involving underage victims will be adopted nationwide to better protect the victims' rights to reputation, privacy and other lawful rights and interests. The legal aid system for underage victims in criminal cases will be improved.

-Prohibiting the use of child labor. No organization or individual shall recruit or employ minors under the age of 16. No entity or individual shall provide job placement services to minors under the age of 16. Minors under the age of 16 are prohibited from opening businesses. The use of child labor is illegal and will be investigated and punished.

-Preventing and punishing sex crimes against minors by law. Education on preventing sexual abuse for minors will be strengthened, with efforts to increase awareness and ability of families, schools and communities to identify, prevent and report sexual abuse. Mandatory reporting of sexual abuse against minors will be implemented more effectively. A national database with information on criminals guilty of sexual assault, abuse, human trafficking, and violence will be established, and the mechanisms for background checks will be improved to prevent people with such criminal records from engaging in certain occupations. Pilot programs will be launched to release information on criminals committing sexual offences against minors. Provision of proof of no criminal record will be strictly required of foreigners seeking teaching positions in China.

-Preventing and controlling violence against children. China upholds zero tolerance for violence against children. The responsibility for protecting children lies with the state, society, schools, and families. The mechanisms for identifying, reporting and intervening in violence against children will be better executed. Institutions and individuals that work with minors have a mandatory responsibility to report any misbehavior or crime against minors. Members of the public are encouraged to dissuade, stop, and report incidents of violence against children. Crimes involving violence against children will be severely punished by law. The emergency response, medical assistance and rehabilitation services for children harmed in accidents or by violence will be improved.

-Preventing juvenile delinquency. Emphasizing both education and protection, the state gives priority to the prevention, early intervention and correction of misbehavior and serious misconduct of minors, adopting different measures for delinquencies of different severity. Guidance will be given to parents or other guardians of minors on increasing legal literacy of minors to motivate them to abide by the law. The layered system for intervention in juvenile delinquency will be better implemented. Those exploiting minors through coercion, instigation, inducement and deception for organized crimes will be severely punished by law.

-Improving the guardianship system for minors. Parents or other guardians of minors will be constantly reminded of their duties of upbringing, educating and protecting their children under 18. The act of entrusting minors to other people by their parents or other guardians will be regulated by law. Village and urban community committees will take more responsibility for supervising parents or other guardians of minors in performing their duties. The head of the children's affairs section of community committees must identify, verify and report potential risks in minors' guardianship or cases where minors are abused by their guardians. Minors falling under relevant legal provisions shall be placed in the care of civil affairs departments at or above the county level on behalf of the state, to ensure that unattended minors receive temporary care in a timely manner during emergencies.

4. Rights of the Elderly

The state will improve its protection of the rights and interests of the elderly, and ensure care, support, recreation, and self-fulfillment for them.

-Improving welfare for the elderly. The state will gradually develop basic eldercare services and improve welfare for the elderly. It will increase support for very poor elderly people who are partially or totally incapacitated. It will also build up the subsidy system for incapacitated seniors in financial distress, and the system of home visits for elderly people who live alone in rural areas, gradually realizing elderly care for all.

-Improving eldercare services. An eldercare services network and a health support network will be formed to include home care, community-based care and institutional care for the elderly, covering both medical and health care services. Cities will be encouraged to build eldercare facilities that also provide medical services, by leveraging medical and health resources at the community level. More beds (55 percent and above) in eldercare institutions in urban and rural areas will be provided to care for incapacitated elderly and people with dementia at an advanced age. A demonstration program will be rolled out in 500 districts and counties for chain operation and standardized management of community services for home-based eldercare that cover nursing services for incapacitated elderly people, day care, and assistance with meals, showering, cleaning, medical treatment, and travel. Eldercare facilities will be compulsory in new residential communities and newly developed urban areas in proportion to the population, and all such facilities must meet the required standard. Eldercare facilities will be made available in older urban districts and existing residential communities. Two million nursing attendants will be trained, and there will be at least one social worker for every thousand elderly people.

-Building elderly-friendly homes. The state will remodel the homes of families with elderly members who are either experiencing financial difficulties or are incapacitated or disabled, and will provide assistive appliances for rehabilitation and tracking gadgets for the safety of the elderly. Assistive appliances for rehabilitation will be more readily available for use in residential communities.

-Helping the elderly seek self-fulfillment. The state will continue to develop colleges for the elderly, increase the provision of elderly education resources, and create better conditions and provide more opportunities for the elderly to study and develop new skills.

-Providing convenience in public transport. Traffic lights, signs and markings will be improved, as well as pedestrian waiting areas and traffic islands, to ensure safety for the elderly and make public transport more convenient for them.

-Providing intelligent services for the elderly. Smart technologies will be employed to upgrade home care and community old-age facilities, and medical and rehabilitation facilities and institutions, to make them more convenient and accessible for the elderly. Big data, artificial intelligence, and 5G technology will be more widely applied in home care, food provision, health management, telemedicine, first aid services, transport, fire safety, and entertainment and recreation. Relevant government departments will provide guidance to basic telecommunication service providers to improve their person-to-person services at business outlets. Websites and mobile applications frequently used by the elderly population in daily life will also be urged to upgrade for their convenience, with increased supply of intelligent terminals tailored to their needs. The elderly will receive more help in using smart products and services.

-Strengthening legal protection of the rights and interests of the elderly. Disputes concerning property, elderly support and marriage involving the rights and interests of elderly people will be addressed by law in a timely manner. More measures will be taken to prevent and punish fraud, illegal fundraising and other crimes that severely undermine elderly people's interests.

5. Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The state will facilitate equal participation and social integration for persons with disabilities, strengthen support for disabled persons in need and people with severe disabilities, and ensure that they share the fruits of social development.

-Ensuring the right to participate. The opinions of people with disabilities and their organizations shall be solicited for important legislation regarding their rights and interests. Disabled people and their organizations will have more channels to participate in democratic discussion and consultation, and their rights to information, participation, expression and supervision will be fully protected.

-Improving welfare for persons with disabilities. In implementing the policy of subsidizing the living expenses of disabled persons and the nursing costs of persons with severe disabilities, a mechanism to dynamically adjust the standards of the subsidies will be introduced across the country, and regions and cities with adequate resources will be encouraged to expand the coverage to benefit more people. Severely disabled people will have their premiums for basic old-age insurance paid by the government, among other measures. Eligible low-income rural households with disabled members are entitled to support from the government to renovate their dilapidated houses. Eligible urban families with disabled members have precedence in allocation of public rental housing.

-Raising quality of rehabilitation services. Disability prevention and rehabilitation services will be developed side by side. The state will strengthen rehabilitation and medical services for the disabled and provide assistance to children with disabilities for their rehabilitation. Targeted rehabilitation programs will be launched for persons with disabilities to ensure their basic services. The services and facilities for the rehabilitation of disabled persons will be improved, and communities will take more initiative in this area. A university for rehabilitation sciences will be built. Training will be organized for professionals providing such services. 100 mental health welfare facilities will be built in areas underequipped with such facilities, to care for poor people with mental disorders and help with their rehabilitation.

-Ensuring special education for those in need. The state will ensure that school-age children with disabilities stay in school for compulsory education. Special education will be developed in the preschool stage with more vigor, in senior-high schools with a focus on vocational education, and in institutions of higher learning step by step. Inclusive education will receive more support. Effective measures will be taken to promote education for children with autism. Standard sign language and Braille will be introduced across the country. In education, any form of discrimination against disabilities is prohibited.

-Promoting employment for the disabled. The state will continue to implement policies to support employment for the disabled in various forms and through multiple channels, helping them to find jobs and start businesses. Disabled persons who start their own businesses and companies employing disabled persons will receive more subsidies and continue to enjoy tax and fee reductions. Efforts will be made to establish the practice of job placement advisors to help the disabled find jobs, and more jobs suitable for the disabled will be created. Vocational training will be provided for 2 million persons with disabilities in urban and rural areas, and an additional 500,000 disabled persons will find jobs.

-Building an accessible environment. The state will formulate a set of rules for accessibility, and promote construction and upgrading to increase the accessibility of roads, public transport, residential communities, public service facilities, facilities for the disabled, and workplaces with larger numbers of disabled employees. The government will subsidize the remodeling of 1.1 million homes with severely disabled members to make residential communities more accessible. To speed up information accessibility, the state supports the R&D and manufacturing of easier-to-use terminals and products, and will upgrade traditional barrier-free facilities and equipment with digital and smart technologies. The study and teaching of sign language and Braille will receive more support, and more professionals will be trained in these disciplines. The state will accommodate the needs of people with disabilities to help them integrate and participate as equals.

-Supporting the R&D and manufacturing of smart assistive devices. Advanced smart technologies will be employed to improve existing assistive devices and develop new ones for the disabled in the design of architecture, facilities, means of transport, daily necessities, environment, plans, and services.

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