Human rights practices reviewed 30 years on from UN declaration

Updated: 2016-05-09 08:27

By Li Yang In Wuhan(China Daily)

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The right to life and development are fundamental human rights that have been protected and promoted by the Chinese government since the founding of modern China in 1949, attendees at a human rights seminar agreed in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Saturday.

Luo Haocai, chairman of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, which sponsored the gathering, said in his keynote address that researchers should conduct more studies on the internet's role in serving those rights in developing countries.

Another key speaker, Cui Yuying, deputy director of the State Council Information Office, urged scholars to strengthen their systematic and theoretical studies on China's human rights practices, looking ahead to serve the country in the future and helping the country's human rights cause become better understood in the world.

The seminar marked the 30th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly's adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development in 1986. The declaration defines the right to development as "an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized".

It imposes obligations on countries to ensure equal and adequate access to essential resources, and on the international community to promote fair development policies and international cooperation.

"That China has lifted nearly 700 million people out of poverty over more than 60 years is a testimony to the country's contribution to the protection of the right to development," said Li Buyun, director of the Human Rights Studies Center at Guangzhou University. "The Chinese people are not only participants in their country's development but also beneficiaries of the fruits of development."

Luo, the society's chairman, lauded the efforts of President Xi Jinping.

"Xi's five development concepts - innovation, coordination, green, open and share - will not only guide China's future development, but also be of great significance to the enrichment of the right to development."

Despite China's notable achievements, some scholars have asked the government to face up to the challenges. Liu Hainian, director of Human Rights Studies Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the country still needs to solve some practical problems appearing in its fast development.

"The government needs to transform its commitment to the rule of law into actions to ensure social justice and fairness at home," Liu said.

More than 60 top Chinese human rights researchers attended the event, which was hosted by the Wuhan University School of Law.