Latest plan creates a progress model
Editor’s note: China issued the third National Human Rights Action Plan (2016-20) on Thursday. Since 1993, when the United Nations called for member countries to formulate human rights action plans, 37 countries have produced 49 plans. After publishing it
TFu Zitang, president of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, Chongqing
he newhuman rights action plan creates an objective-oriented human rights progress model with obvious characteristics.
First, it combines the Chinese leadership’s governance concepts with an objectiveoriented human rights promotion model that pays great attention to coordinating the efforts of different parties to promote the advancement of human rights.
The plan corresponds with the 13th Five-Year Plan (201620), and human rights are increasingly merging with China’s overall social and economic development.
For the first time, the plan makes the protection of property rights a major objective of human rights protection efforts. Property rights include the rights to land, construction sites, farmers’ houses, collectively owned construction sites and natural resources.
The plans provides clear details of people’s rights. The rights to know and participate and the rights of expression and supervision are listed in the chapter on the protection of civil and political rights. This is the first time that the four interrelated rights have been laid out parallel with each other simultaneously.
The public’s right to know is inseparable from their right to participate in social governance, and the effective realization of citizens’ supervision rights is inseparable from the expansion of the scale, means and channels of expression.
That China has issued human rights action plans in consecutive three years indicates the government’s resolve to, and confidence in, the protection of human rights, and the country’s human rights efforts have reached a new stage of sustainable advancement.
The plan details its objectives, implementation and evaluation, and its implementation indicates the formation of the objectiveoriented model for the advancement of human rights. The model originates from the country’s conditions and governance structures, and it will ensure that the cause of human rights makes steady progress.
Qi Yanping, director of Human Rights Center of Shandong University, in Jinan, capital of Shandong province
The realization of human dignity entails a harmonious and stable society, good economic foundations and a healthy political environment. Building a social order based on human dignity is the key to promoting economic equality.
The new action plan is an important step forward in the protection of Chinese citizens’ human dignity and will enable them to lead decent lives.
First, the public’s basic life needs must be satisfied, and people should have access to education, medical care and public services, in addition to clean water, air and food.
Second, basic life needs must be fully realized. A responsible, modern society should take concrete action to ensure its citizens’ have ways of obtaining their basic daily needs.
At present, farmers enjoy basic medical insurance, but they are unable to obtain reimbursement in areas outside of the place where their household is registered, so it’s difficult for China’s 300 million migrant workers to enjoy the benefits of medical insurance.
The government needs to walk a step farther to reform unwieldy institutions and make public services more human-oriented than policyoriented.
The government will eradicate the differences between urban and rural household registrations in terms of eligibility for public services, and will ensure that people are able to benefit from medical insurance nationwide, no matter where they come from.
These objectives are necessary to eliminate institutional obstacles that prevent citizens from enjoying a basic standard of living.