Full text: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2012

Updated: 2013-05-14 12:45


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VI. Foreign Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights

China has long taken the initiative to have exchanges and cooperation with other countries in the realm of human rights. It plays a constructive role in the UN's human rights bodies, encouraging countries around the world to handle human rights issues fairly, objectively and non-selectively. It endeavors to promote the sound development of human rights on the international stage.

Constructively participating in UN human rights activities. In 2010 and 2011 China constructively engaged in the review of the UN Human Right Council (HRC), and encouraged the UN General Assembly to adopt the HRC's resolution on the review. From 2010 on, Chinese delegations attended the meetings of the Third Committee of the 65th, 66th and 67th sessions of the UN General Assembly, and the 13th to 21st sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, and participated in the seventh to 14th sessions of the HRC's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Team. When working in the organizations and participating in the meetings mentioned above, China plays a constructive role by upholding the basic purpose and principles stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations, performing its duties conscientiously, and proactively participating in reviews and discussions of human rights issues. China attaches great importance to technical cooperation with the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In 2011 China and the OHCHR jointly held the China-UN Legal Seminar, and discussed such issues as death penalty reform trend in the world. Both sides regarded the seminar as a positive move. China resolutely supports the programs of the OHCHR, and made donations of $20,000, $30,000 and $50,000 to it from 2010 to 2012. In December 2010 the HRC's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food visited China upon invitation, and fully affirmed China's efforts in improving the right to food.

Attaching great importance to the implementation of international human rights conventions. China has joined 27 international human rights conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and actively works for the approval of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Chinese government has taken active measures to guarantee the implementation of its obligations as stipulated by the international human rights conventions it has joined. In 2010 China submitted to the United Nations the second report of its implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the consolidated report of the third and fourth implementations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the first report of its implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. China also presented to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities the first report of its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the same year, which passed the review of the committee in September 2012. Most committee members recognized China's achievements in guaranteeing the rights of persons with disabilities and its implementation of the Convention. In 2012 China submitted the consolidated report of the seventh and eighth implementations of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and organized a trans-department coordination team to set about drawing up the sixth report of its implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. From 2010 to 2012 members of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) visited China to conduct on-site inspections of China' s implementation of relevant conventions, and gave full recognition to China' s work. Since 2010 China has continued its cooperation with the UN Children' s Fund office in China, holding various forms of publicity activities and training for upholding the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 2012 the Chinese government held celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of its joining in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Taking an active part in formulating international human rights instruments and related rules. The Chinese government actively participates in and promotes the intergovernmental process of the UN General Assembly on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system ("process of the General Assembly"). In November 2011 China submitted to the OHCHR the Opinions on Strengthening the Effective Functioning of the Human Rights Treaty Body System, and sent a delegation to the first unofficial consultation on the "process of the General Assembly" held in July 2012 to set forth its position and assertions on improving the human rights treaty body system. In 2010 and 2011 the Chinese government sent delegations to the Open-ended Working Group meetings for the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Communications Procedure, and joined the consensus on the optional protocol at the 17th session of the Human Rights Council and 66th UN General Assembly. In September 2011 the Chinese government put forward a written opinion to the Committee against Torture on the General Opinion on Article 14 of the Convention against Torture (working document) drafted by the committee. China also recommended its experts as members of the CESCR, Committee Against Torture, CERD and CEDAW.

Increasing mutual understanding and learning from each other's experience through dialogues on human rights. China upholds the principles of equality and mutual respect when carrying out bilateral dialogues and communication in the field of human rights with related countries. In the past three years China has held human rights dialogues with the United States, the European Union, Great Britain, Germany, Australia and Switzerland. It has sent legal experts to have dialogues with their US counterparts, held the EU-China Human Rights Seminar and conducted technical cooperation projects on human rights with Australia. Since 2010 the Chinese government has sent delegations to the 10th, 11th and 12th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Informal Seminar on Human Rights, and taken an active part in discussions of related topics. From 2010 to 2012 the China Society for Human Rights Studies, together with some other organizations, held the third, fourth and fifth sessions of the Beijing Forum on Human Rights, discussing the relations between human rights and development, culture, science and technology and the environment. The Forum has become an important stage for international human rights dialogues and exchanges involving both developing and developed countries.

Working closely with other countries, China will spare no efforts to promote the healthy development of human rights worldwide.

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