Five-year human rights action plan fully implemented, ‘highlights building of moderately prosperous society’
Published: Sep 29, 2021 08:55 PM
poverty alleviation Photo:VCG

poverty alleviation Photo:VCG

China's five-year human rights action plan for 2016 to 2020, the country's third national policy document on respecting, protecting and promoting human rights, has been fully implemented, according to an evaluation report by third-party experts.

All of the 168 objectives and tasks in the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016-20) have been completed, with the nation achieving many ahead of schedule or going beyond the targets set, said the report evaluating the implementation of the action plan unveiled Wednesday.

Commissioned by the Joint Meeting Mechanism of the National Human Rights Action Plan, the China Society for Human Rights Studies and the Human Rights Institute of Southwest University of Political Science and Law conducted an evaluation of the implementation of the action plan. 

The expert group gathered human rights experts to visit a number of representative areas in the east, central and western regions to conduct research and studies on the implementation of the action plan. They concluded that China strives to solve the most concerned, direct and realistic rights and interests of the people, protecting and improving people's livelihood, focusing on protecting the rights and interests of people with financial difficulties, the poor and the weak, and achieving fairness and justice. 

Zhao Shukun, a professor at the Institute of Human Rights of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times that it is the first time that the evaluation of the action plan was completed by a third party and it is an important mechanism to supervise and promote the implementation of the action plan. 

The evaluation highlights the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the elimination of absolute poverty. It also demonstrates the country's impressive progress in protecting the rights of specific groups and the achievements in the fields of civil and political rights, Zhao said. 

The protection of the Chinese people's economic, social and cultural rights has reached a new level; civil and political rights have been more effectively guaranteed; measures to safeguard the rights of ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and the disabled have been fully implemented; the dissemination of human rights information and human rights education are deeply rooted in the hearts of the people; international exchanges and cooperation in the field of human rights have made remarkable achievements, according to the evaluation. 

The evaluation said in the past five years, the Chinese government has ensured a fuller rate of employment and quality employment, pursued a lifelong vocational skills training system for workers, and further improved the wage and benefits system. At the same time, there is still room for improvement in the implementation of the paid annual leave system, protection of the basic rights and interests of workers in flexible employment.

In terms of the protection of civil and political rights, the protection of citizens' personal freedoms, the improvement of the protection of lawyers' rights to practice law, the improvement of the speedy processing mechanism for minor criminal cases and the speedy adjudication procedure for criminal cases, the improvement of the legal system for religious affairs, the improvement of the level of information and centralization of government affairs, the promotion of the disclosure of information on law enforcement and justice, and the protection of the right to information and democratic participation of employees in enterprises and institutions, have seen marked progress. At the same time, there is still room for further improvement in the full implementation of the principle of adjudication of evidence.

Major progress has also been achieved in the elimination of absolute poverty in ethnic minority areas, effectively preventing and legally combating crimes of trafficking in women and children, fully completing the elderly care system, improving the social welfare system and assistance system for the elderly, and providing rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities. At the same time, further improvements are needed in the implementation of a leave system for male workers to accompany their wives during childbirth with pay, the development of childcare institutions for children aged 0-3, and the development of social organizations for the elderly.

On September 9, China published the fourth action plan, setting the objectives and tasks of respecting, protecting and promoting human rights in the period from 2021 to 2025.