50 Chinese, foreign experts discuss tasks, prospects of new 5-year human rights action plan
Published: Sep 29, 2021 11:13 PM
A photo exhibition showcasing China's achievements in poverty alleviation opened at the National Museum of China in June. Photo: VCG

A photo exhibition showcasing China's achievements in poverty alleviation opened at the National Museum of China in June. Photo: VCG

 More than 50 Chinese and foreign experts discussed the tasks of China's new five-year human rights action plan and measures to achieve the goals in a seminar held by video link in Tianjin on Wednesday. 

The experts from China, France, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Laos and North Korea spoke highly of China's progress in the protection of human rights, especially in poverty reduction and the protection of the rights of specific groups, saying it has set an example for other countries in the world. 

China published the fourth human rights action plan on September 9, pledging to promote the free, well-rounded and common development of all individuals as the general goal. 

Gong Xianghe, executive dean of the Human Rights Research Institute of Southeast University, said the new action plan attaches great importance to the protection of the right to education, with special emphasis on the right to equitable and high-quality education.

"The degree of protection of the right to education is further enhanced, the level of protection is further improved, and the scope of protection is further expanded; second, a new form of right to education has been added to ensure fair and high-quality right to education in the digital era," Gong pointed out. 

Ding Peng, a professor at the Human Rights Research Institute of Wuhan University, pointed out that the action plan has established effective measures to guarantee equal rights for specific groups, focusing more on real life difficulties, especially in people's livelihood. 

Tang Ying, an associate professor at the Human Rights Research Institute of Nankai University in Tianjin, said the new plan highlights the environmental rights, which is based on the objective requirements of solving environmental problems. Environmental pollution, climate change and biodiversity were the three current global environmental crises, and a rights-based approach would help address inequalities and ensure the protection of all members of society, with special emphasis on people in vulnerable situations.

The new plan also makes breakthroughs in protecting women's rights, paying more attention to gender discrimination in workplace and women's burden in child bearing, Lu Haina, associate professor from Renmin University of China in Beijing. 

Rajmi Manatunga, permanent mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, pointed out that the new action plan includes more content on the human rights responsibilities of enterprises, which is recommended and encouraged. China has made remarkable progress in protecting human rights, especially in the field of economic, social and cultural rights. Achieving poverty reduction targets ahead of schedule is impressive and has had a profound impact on the international community, she said. 

Apart from China, more than 60 countries had set human rights action plans. China is one of eight countries that had so far made three or more plans. Before releasing the detailed report, China also introduced third-party academic institutes in 2020 for evaluating the implementation of the action plan for 2016 to 2020, which has been fully implemented, an evaluation report by third-party experts showed Wednesday.