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China Reviews 2012-2015 Human Rights Progress
Major tasks set by the National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-2015) had been fulfilled by the end of 2015
Edited by Li Nan  ·  2016-06-14  ·   Source:

The Sum-up Meeting on the Assessment of the Implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-2015) is held in Beijing, capital of China on June 14 (XINHUA)

The Chinese Government released a report reviewing the human rights progress from 2012 to 2015 and promising harder effort in the future.

China launched the National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-2015) in June 2012, the second of its kind, following one from 2009 to 2010.

Major targets and tasks set by the plan had been fulfilled as scheduled by the end of 2015, says the report issued by the State Council Information Office.

About 48 percent of the binding targets and over 50 percent of the targets concerning the people's livelihood had been met ahead of time or exceeded, thus realizing the comprehensive implementation of the plan, the report says.

"The Communist Party of China and the Chinese Government incorporated the principle of universality of human rights into China's national conditions...successfully charting a path of human rights development suiting China's national conditions," the report says.

Fulfilling the plan as scheduled fully demonstrates the commitment and confidence of the Party and government to promote the human rights cause in a coordinated and orderly way and the huge advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, it says.

However, the report admits that the government is keenly aware of many challenges in this aspect, for instance, China's economic development mode is still crude and it is still fraught with problems from unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development.

The country is still struggling to deal with a big gap between urban and rural areas as well as problems of immediate concern to the people's welfare including medical care, education, old age care, food and drug safety, income distribution and environment.

"There is still a long way to go to realize higher-level protection of human rights in China and hard efforts must be made," it says.

Improvement of people's welfare

From 2012 to 2015, faced with a complex international situation and the challenging tasks of pushing reform and maintaining stability, the government has pushed for more efficient, fairer and more sustainable growth and worked to ensure that all people benefit from reform and development.

Compared with the average 7.4-percent annual growth of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2012 to 2015, the per capita disposable income of urban residents increased by 7.5 percent and the per capita net income for rural residents increased by 9.2 percent annually.

A total of 66.63 million people in rural areas were lifted out of poverty.

Ordinary citizens have enjoyed more comprehensive social security programs and better public services, while more efforts were made to realize equal access to education and address pollution.

The rights and interests of ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities have also been further guaranteed.

Promoting rule of law

Efforts have been made to improve government transparency, through computer and Internet technologies, to realize people's rights to be informed, express their opinion, participate in state affairs and oversee the government.

Judicial reforms were smoothly pushed forwards to improve transparency of judicial agencies, streamline legal proceedings under the principles such as "innocence until proven guilty" and guarantee lawyers' rights.

Efforts were made to correct wrong convictions and ensure judicial departments to perform their duties independently in accordance with the law.

In December 2013, China abolished the system of reeducation through labor.

In 2015, about 30,000 imprisoned criminals in four categories were pardoned under an amnesty.

The latest revision to the Criminal Law, adopted in 2015, removed the death penalty for nine crimes, reducing the number of crimes on which the death penalty is applicable from 55 to 46.

Religious freedom

From 2012 to 2015, the government canceled or adjusted 12 items subject for administrative approval about religious affairs.

In the four years, a total of 200 million yuan ($30.53 million) was spent on renovation and expansion projects of religious facilities in Tibet.

By the end of 2015, 87 temples in Yushu of northwest China's Qinghai Province damaged in a major earthquake in 2010, were fully rebuilt.

From 2012 to 2015, the government allocated nearly 15 million yuan ($2.29 million) to support and assist repair and preservation of mosques and historic religious sites.

Religious workers have been fully covered by social security programs. By 2013, 96.5 percent of them have had medical insurance and 89.62 percent have had pension schemes.

Joining international human rights effort

From 2012 to 2015, China has maintained constructive dialogues with several treaty bodies on its implementation of international conventions about human rights.

In 2014, China participated and passed the second round of the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review. It also took an active part in multilateral human rights meetings hosted by the third committee of UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council.

From 2012 to 2015, the country held more than 20 human rights dialogues with the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Switzerland, as well as more than 10 human rights consultations and exchanges with countries including Russia, Brazil, Pakistan and Cuba.

(Xinhua News Agency June 14, 2016)

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