China says its human rights action plan is on track to reach goals

World Today

China has evaluated the progress of its second national action plan on human rights. The plan, set in motion in 2012 and extending to 2015, aims to comprehensively bolster human rights across all aspects of society with specific targets. CCTV America’s Wu Guoxiu reported this story from Beijing.

China says its human rights action plan is on track to reach goals

China has evaluated the progress of its second national action plan on human rights. The plan, set in motion in 2012 and extending to 2015, aims to comprehensively bolster human rights across all aspects of society with specific targets. CCTV America’s Wu Guoxiu reported this story from Beijing.

Most of the human rights goals are more than half complete, Director of the Information Office of State Council Cai Mingzhao said.

“Many indexes relating to people’s livelihood, notably those to rehabilitate the disabled, internet coverage, and national human rights education and training have been reached early,” Cai added.

Topping the list of priorities in the action plan is the right to work. In 2013, the urban unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, lower than the target rate of under 5 percent.

“Through deliberative democracy, citizens can participate in the decision-making process, and voice their opinions and thoughts,” Professor Lin Shangli of Fudan University said.

This means that issues that are of concern of people in local communities will be heard, he said.

“For instance in Shanghai, the demolition of a prison needs to require approval from its residents. It wasn’t like this in the past. Now, the system has a Chinese characteristic respecting people’s opinions,” Lin said.

Efforts are also being made to boost transparency, with courts publicly broadcasting 45,000 trials in 2013. The Supreme People’s Court is also drafting regulations stressing that any evidence procured through torture cannot be considered.

Under this plan, China has set up five new national human rights education and research bases, bringing the total to eight.

The State Council’s Information Office said more efforts are needed to fully meet all the targets set up in the human rights action plan by 2015.

Major steps to take include tackling environmental pollution, making sure citizens feel equality and justice in every single legal case, and educate the public’s human rights awareness, from teenagers to company employees.

China has also been active on the global level, and was elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2013.