China’s human rights action plan, released on Thursday, aims to extend the benefits of development to all.
The State Council Information Office of the People’ s Republic of China of China issued the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016- China 2020) on Thursday. Following is the first part. is the For full text, please go to http://ow.ly/WfZP304HtPV. CONTENTS Introduction I. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1) Right to work (2) Right to basic living standards (3) Right to social security (4) Right to property (5) Right to health (6) Right to education (7) Cultural rights (8) Environmental rights II. Civil and Political Rights (1) Rights of the person (2) Right to fair trial (3) Freedom of religious belief (4) Rights to know and to participate (5) Rights of expression and supervision III. Rights of Specific Groups (1) Rights of ethnic minorities (2) Rights of women (3) Rights of children (4) Rights of the elderly (5) Rights of the disabled IV. Human Rights Education and Research V. Fulfillment of Obligations to Human Rights Conventions, and International Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights VI. Implementation and Supervision Introduction
The period from 2016 to 2020 is a decisive stage for China in the building of a moderately prosperous society in an allround way as well as a major stage for realizing the orderly, steady and sustainable development of human rights in China.
China has implemented two national human rights action plans since 2009. As the government constantly enhances the protection of human rights, the people’s standard of living and quality of life have seen further improvement, their economic, social and cultural rights and interests have been strengthened, their civil rights and political rights have been guaranteed, the public’s consciousness of respecting and guaranteeing human rights has enhanced significantly, international human rights exchanges and cooperation have constantly developed, and the cause of socialist human rights with Chinese characteristics has moved up to a new level.
Nevertheless, we are keenly aware that problems, some of them serious, remain. China’s economic development pattern is still extensive, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable. There is still a huge gap between urban and rural development. Difficulties need to be solved in such fields as health care, education, care for the aged, food and drug safety, income distribution and the environment -- all of which are closely related to the people’s vital interests. The rule of lawin safeguarding human rights needs to be further promoted and more efforts are required to realize higher levels of human rights protection.
Based on experience gained in the implementation of the first and second national human rights action plans, the Chinese government has formulated the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (20162020) (hereinafter referred to as the Action Plan) in accordance with the constitutional principle that the state respects and protects human rights and the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other related international human rights conventions, and in combination with the implementation of the Outline of the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China. The Action Plan defines the objectives and tasks of respecting, protecting and promoting human rights in the period from 2016 to 2020.
The guiding ideology for formulating and implementing the Action Plan is as follows:
Upholding socialism with Chinese characteristics, fully implementing the guiding principles of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the third, fourth and fifth plenary sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee, following the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of the Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, implementing the spirit of a series of important speeches made by General Secretary Xi Jinping, following the strategic arrangement of building China into a moderately prosperous society in an allround way, advancing reform in an allround way, comprehensively promoting law-based government, and running the Party with strict discipline, and sticking to the innovative, coordinated, green, open and sharing development concept. The Chinese government combines human rights with economic, political, cultural and social progress, ecological protection and Party building, adheres to the people-centered development approach, puts the protection of people’s rights to subsistence and development in the first place, takes the people’s well-being and all-round development as both the starting point and ultimate goal of China’s human rights work, safeguards social fairness and justice, and better guarantees the various rights and interests of the entire population in the great cause of realizing the Chinese Dream of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The basic principles for formulating and implementing the Action Plan are as follows:
Pushing forward the work in accordance with the lawand bringing China’s human rights work under the rule of law; pushing forward the work in a coordinated way, and promoting the comprehensive and coordinated development of the people’s various rights and interests; pushing forward the work in a pragmatic way, and integrating universal principles on human rights with China’s realities; pushing forward the work in a balanced way and making sure that all people enjoy equal human rights; pushing forward the work with joint efforts, with the government, enterprises, public institutions and social organizations working together to promote human rights.
In accordance with the new requirement of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, the objectives of the implementation of the Action Plan are as follows:
• Comprehensively safeguarding citizens’ economic, social and cultural rights. The Chinese government will improve the people’s standard of living and quality of life; upgrade the public service system and ensure more people have equal access to such services; spare no effort in poverty alleviation to lift the entire population who live under the current poverty line out of poverty; protect intellectual property rights; improve the overall ecological environment; make efforts to give people equal opportunities in development, ensure that all people share the benefits of the nation’s development more equally, and increase the people’s sense of satisfaction in creating and sharing benefits.
• Protecting citizens’ civil and political rights in accordance with the law. China will enforce the lawin a strict, procedure based manner, and protect citizens’ personal rights and dignity; promote judicial justice and guarantee litigants’ right to a fair trial; improve socialist democracy, clear and expand channels for citizens’ participation in political affairs, and ensure people’s rights to be informed, to participate, to be heard and to oversee.
• Fully safeguarding the rights and interests of specific groups. The Chinese government will promote the development of ethnic minorities and regions inhabited by ethnic minorities; endeavor to eliminate gender discrimination; strengthen the protection of rights and interests of minors; respond actively to the aging of the population; improve the service system to support and help people with disabilities.
• Conducting extensive education in human rights. China will combine human rights education with national education and nationwide education in spreading knowledge of the law; publicize the importance of human rights as represented in the core socialist values, and foster a culture featuring respect for human rights.
• Actively participating in international human rights work. China will fulfill its obligations to international human rights conventions, get actively involved in the work of the UnitedN ations human rights mechanism; conduct extensive human rights dialogues, exchanges and cooperation, and provide technical aid related to human rights to those developing countries that need it.
Compiled under the leadership of the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and reviewed and approved by the joint meeting for the National Human Rights Action Plan, the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016-2020) is hereby released by the State Council Information Office.
I. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The Chinese government is determined to press forward with precision poverty-reduction and poverty-eradication campaigns, improve the public service system, steadily enhance the level of equal access to basic public services, and protect citizens’ economic, social and cultural rights. (1) Right to work More proactive employment policies shall be implemented, a system of lifelong vocational skills training shall be promoted for workers, and a wage and benefits system shall be further improved, so shall a longterm safety production mechanism. Prevention and treatment of occupational diseases shall be reinforced.
• Ensuring a fuller rate of employment and quality employment. Programs of employment promotion and entrepreneurship shall be introduced for college graduates, and surplus rural labor shall be encouraged to seek employment in other areas, and migrant workers shall get help in starting businesses back in their home villages. People with difficulties in finding jobs shall be registered so that the government can keep track of their employment situation and give them help according to defined categories, with particular attention being paid to families with no one holding a job. Counties and townships in poverty-stricken areas shall be given support in building employment and social security services platforms. It is planned for a minimum of 50 million new jobs to be created in urban areas.
• Pursuing a lifelong vocational skills training system for workers. Free vocational training shall be offered to young people from needy families, people with junior or senior middle-school education, migrant workers, people having lost their jobs, workers with reassigned jobs, ex-servicepeople and people with disabilities. By 2020, it is expected that 40 million migrant workers shall have received such training, and the goal is to equip every worker with relevant occupational skills.
• Further improving the wage and benefits system. Efforts will be made to improve the wage-setting mechanism, the normal wage increase mechanism and payment guarantee mechanism, and the minimum wage adjustment mechanism. The collective wage negotiation mechanism shall be continuously implemented for enterprises; a salary system shall be improved for highly skilled professionals, the salaries of skilled workers be increased, and the paid vacation system be implemented.
• Improving the labor security supervision and lawenforcement system and labor dispute settlement mechanism. Employment discrimination of any form shall be strictly prohibited. Measures will be taken to address arrears of wage payment for migrant workers, regulate layoffs by businesses, guarantee the rights and interests of workers informally employed, strictly regularize the application by enterprises of the special working-hour system, and strengthen supervision over labor dispatch pursuant to the law.
• Strengthening safety in production. By 2020 the death toll caused by industrial accidents of various types shall fall by 10 percent cumulatively, and the death rate from industrial accidents per RMB100 million of GDP shall drop by 30 percent.
• Strengthening the prevention and treatment of occupational diseases. In industries with high risks of occupational diseases, 90 percent and above of relevant workers shall receive special health checkups, and 95 percent and above of persons in charge of businesses and occupational health managerial staff shall receive the required training. (2) Right to basic living standards Full efforts shall be made to reduce poverty, and ensure basic housing, clean water, food security, and convenient transportation.
• Ensuring the increase of rural and urban residents’ income in step with economic growth. By 2020 China’s GDP and the per-capita income of urban and rural residents shall both double that of 2010. Efforts shall be made to increase the income of low-income earners, and enlarge the ranks of middle-income earners.
• Implementing the Decision of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Eradicating Poverty in China, and implementing the strategy of precision povertyreduction and poverty-eradication. By 2020 some 30 million people shall be lifted out of poverty by way of developing specialty industries, 10 million by way of transfer employment, 10 million by relocation to other areas, and the remaining 20 million, who have partially or completely lost the ability to work, shall be covered by social security. In this way the whole of the impoverished rural population according to the current standards shall be lifted out of poverty and no county will be called a “poverty county” by then.
• Ensuring housing security. A total of 20 million units of housing in rundown urban areas shall be rebuilt, support strengthened to poor areas, and holders of residence permits ensured equal basic housing rights with locally registered residents. Efforts shall be made to press forward with renovation of dilapidated housing in rural areas, carry out anti-earthquake reinforcement projects for rural housing, and basically complete the renovation of registered dilapidated housing.
• Ensuring access to safe water. A total of 27 billion cum of water supply capacity will be added nationwide on the current basis, and all urban water-supply sources shall meet the required standards. Efforts shall be made to improve drinking water security in rural areas, where 80 percent of the population shall have access to tap water, and 85 percent to centralized water supply.
• Ensuring food safety. The Food Safety Lawshall be strictly enforced, and supervisory organs shall be held responsible for food safety in areas under their respective jurisdiction. Food safety supervision shall be strengthened on imported foodstuffs, and through the building of a professional team of food-safety inspectors, the supervision shall be made more effective. The system of food-safety credit shall be improved, so shall the mechanisms of protection of consumers’ rights and interests.
• Improving the transportation network. A network of national trunk expressways shall be basically put in place. Where conditions permit, county seats shall have access to highways of Grade II and above, and townships and administrative villages have tarmac or cement roads and complete access to bus services. (3) Right to social security The social insurance system shall be improved, establishment of a social relief system covering urban and rural areas shall be promoted, and support shall be given to the development of social welfare and charity undertakings.
• Implementing full coverage of social insurance, and steadily raising the level of social security pooling. A more convenient social insurance transfer and renewal mechanism shall be established, and the system of social security card shall be implemented to ensure that 90 percent of the population enjoys social security coverage.
• Improving the basic old-age insurance system that combines social pooling and personal accounts for urban workers and endeavoring to materialize nationwide pooling for basic old-age pensions for urban workers, and introducing tax-deferred retirement insurance. By 2020 some 95 percent of eligible urban and rural residents shall be covered by the basic old-age insurance.
• Improving the medical insurance system. The coverage of medical insurance in urban and rural areas shall be stabilized at above 95 percent. A critical illness insurance system shall be continuously carried out for urban and rural residents, and mechanisms for steady and sustainable financing of the medical insurance and for adjusting medical care reimbursement rates shall be improved. Steps shall be quickened to promote the establishment of a nationwide network for basic medical insurance and trans-regional settlement of medical insurance accounts, so in-patient and out-patient medical expenses can be settled in the place of treatment if the patients meet the requirements for referral, despite having local coverage. The state shall integrate maternity insurance with basic medical insurance.
• Further expanding the coverage of unemployment insurance, and ensuring that eligible unemployed persons receive unemployment insurance benefits in full and in a timely manner, and that they have access to relevant re-employment services.
• Implementing provincial-level unified pooling of funds for work-related injury insurance, guaranteeing that the insured receive compensation when applicable, formulating regulations on the use and management of funds for prevention of workrelated injury, and improving the system of rehabilitation services for work-related injuries. By 2020 work-related injury insurance shall be extended to cover all eligible workers as prescribed by the law.
• Pressing forward in coordinated manner the building of an urban-rural social relief system. All eligible families shall be brought into the coverage of the subsistence allowance system. The relief and support system for people living in dire poverty shall be further improved and the level of relief and support shall be raised. The system of temporary rescue shall be comprehensively implemented to provide timely help to those in urgent needs. Building of service facilities for the protection of minors shall be strengthened, so shall organs for the relief and management of vagrants and beggars, both at the grassroots.
• Improving the natural disaster relief system, and adjusting and improving the relief policies in the wake of natural disasters. A national natural-disaster relief supplies reserve system shall be launched.
• Improving the social welfare system with focus on supporting the elderly, disabled, children, and needy, and strengthening the building of welfare facilities.
• Enacting the Charity Law, and supporting the development of charities.
• Implementing the State Council’s reform program of the household registration system, and establishing a unified urban-rural household registration system featuring the removal of difference between agricultural and non-agricultural household registration. The Interim Regulations on Residence Permits shall be implemented, and the system of residence permit shall be extended to cover all permanent urban residents that have not yet had their household registration. Equal development shall be promoted for citizens, making them share the benefits of development equally and have equal access to social security. (4) Right to property Establishing and improving a modern property-right system featuring clear ownership, clearly defined rights and obligations, rigorous protection, and easy transfer, and pressing forward with protection of people’s property rights in accordance with the law.
• Forging ahead with the compilation of the Civil Law-Code in an orderly manner and improving the system of property protection.
• Pressing forward with the amendment of the Land Administration Law and enactment of supporting laws and regulations. Proactive exploration shall be conducted on such systems as expropriation of rural collectively owned land, marketization of collectively owned rural profit-oriented construction land, management of homestead land, and the adjustment and handling of real estate ownership, and studies on legislation be started at the right time.
• Completing the confirmation and registration of rural land contracted for productive use, homesteads, housing and collectively owned construction land. Reform of the land expropriation system shall be implemented continuously, the land-contracting relationship shall be made stable in the rural areas, measures for separating the rights of land ownership, contracting and management shall be improved, and orderly transfer of landmanagement right shall be introduced pursuant to the law. Methods for confirming membership of collective economic organizations shall be improved, and so shall the forms of expression of collective economic assets ownership. The productive assets of collective economic organizations shall be converted into shares for distribution among their members.
• Defining the property right of enterprises in accordance with laws and regulations, and ensuring enterprises’ right of operation.
• Implementing unified system of registration for immovables.
• Taking steps to quicken the enactment of a natural resource assets ownership system, deciding the owners of such assets, and innovating the forms of realizing the ownership. The rights and interests of the owners of natural-resource assets shall be protected, and proceeds from such assets shall be shared fairly. Further reform shall be carried out of the mining right system, and a system and platform shall be established for trading of ecological and environmental rights and interests.
• Implementing a rigorous intellectual property right (IPR) protection system. The IPR ownership system shall be improved to encourage innovation, and an IPR trading and services platform shall be built. (5) Right to health A basic medical and health system covering the entire nation shall be established and improved, and it is expected that the average life expectancy shall increase by one year by 2020.
• Promoting equal access to basic public health services. Improvements shall be endeavored of the basic public health service programs and key public health service programs, the quality and efficiency of health services shall be improved and equal access to them ensured, and adjustments made to the funds for basic public health service programs at the right time while continuing to give preference to primary level health services when it comes to the allocation of funding. Private capital shall be encouraged to go to health services, and equal treatment be offered to non-profit private hospitals as well as public hospitals.
• Enhancing the capacity of primary level medical and health services. Focusing on the central and western regions, each county shall be helped to run well at least one to two public hospitals (including hospitals of Traditional Chinese Medicine), and 95 percent of primary-level medical and health institutions shall be expected to reach the required standards. Endeavors shall be made to develop a primary-level medical care sphere that ensures all patients receive help within 30 minutes. A contingent of resident doctors shall be developed and offered standardized training. Two general practitioners shall be ensured for every 10,000 persons and 2.5 practitioners/assistants for every 1,000 persons.
• Strengthening prevention and control of major illnesses. Intensified efforts shall be made to accelerate the building of national- and provinciallevel demonstration areas for chronic disease prevention and control, and the rate of premature deaths from major chronic diseases shall be reduced by 10 percent. The incidence of TB shall be reduced to 58/100,000; the infection rates of HBV in all groups be reduced; AIDS be controlled at a low-epidemic level; schistosomiasis be basically eliminated; and malaria and leprosy be eliminated. China shall improve the diagnosis, reporting and follow-up service of serious mental disorders, and register 85 percent of persons with serious mental disorders for health management. Primary attention shall be given to the prevention and control of endemic diseases, improving the capabilities of public health emergency response and the prevention and treatment of acute infectious disease epidemics. Health quarantine capacity of land border crossings and sea ports shall be strengthened to prevent the spread of major infectious diseases from outside China. The supply of medicines for the prevention and control of AIDS and some other diseases shall be increased free of charge, and medical relief shall be provided for all those suffering from severe or major illnesses.
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