China has long taken the initiative to have exchanges and cooperation with other countries in the realm of human rights, endeavoring to promote the sound development of human rights on the international stage.
China is an active participant in the work of UN's human rights agencies, and it plays a constructive role in order to encourage countries around the world to handle human rights issues fairly, objectively and non-selectively.
In February 2009 China received the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) from the United Nations Human Rights Council for the first time. During the review, China, with a serious and highly-responsible attitude, gave a detailed account of its human rights situation, the challenges facing the country and what was needed to be done in the future, and conducted an open and frank dialogue with other countries. China's efforts and progress made in the sphere of human rights have been recognized by many countries, and in June 2009 the UN Human Rights Council verified and approved the report reviewing China's human rights situation. In 2009, a Chinese delegation attended the meetings of the Third Committee of the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly, and the 10th, 11th and 12th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, and participated in the fourth, fifth and sixth UPR sessions of the UN Human Rights Council. Chinese experts attended the second and third sessions of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council, and the fourth and fifth sessions of the Working Group on Communications of the UN Human Rights Council. China played an active part in the Durban Review Conference held in April 2009. When working in the organizations and participating in the meetings mentioned above, China, as always, upheld the basic tenets and principles stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations, performed its duties conscientiously, and proactively participated in reviews and discussions of the human rights issues.
China attaches great importance to the significant role played by international human rights instruments in the promotion and protection of human rights, and has joined 25 international conventions on human rights, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Meanwhile, China is actively working for the approval of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Chinese government has taken effective measures to guarantee the implementation of its obligations as stipulated by international human rights conventions it has joined. In 2009 China set about drawing up the second report of its implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the consolidated report of the third and fourth implementations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the first report of its implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In August 2009 China received a review of its 10th to 13th consolidated report of its implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination conducted by the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The committee affirmed China's policies, measures and achievements made in developing the economy in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, enhancing the development of the smaller ethnic minorities, raising people's living standard, promoting health care and education, and protecting the cultures of ethnic minorities.
The Chinese government has been actively involved in formulating international human rights instruments. In 2009 the Chinese government sent a delegation to attend the meeting of the working group to establish an optional protocol for a complaint mechanism to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. China actively recommended its experts to participate in the work of organizations supporting human rights treaties. In 2009 a Chinese expert was elected as deputy chairperson of the newly-organized UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and was reappointed a member of the UN Committee against Torture.
China has been taking the initiative to carry out international cooperation in the realm of human rights, attaching great importance to technical cooperation with the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on human rights cooperation between China and the OHCHR in 2000, both sides have carried out a series of cooperative programs on human rights on the principle of mutual respect. China resolutely supports the programs of the OHCHR, and made another donation of US$20,000 to it in 2009. China highly appreciates the important functions of the UN's Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council in the realm of international human rights, and maintains close cooperation with it. The Chinese government replies to all inquiries from the Special Procedures in a highly responsible manner, and has invited the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food of the Human Rights Council to visit China. China will continue cooperation in follow-up work with the United Nations Children's Fund office in China on the review of China report conducted by the UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child. An international symposium on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Its Implementation in China and a symposium on the Report of the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child were held in China in 2009.
China upholds the principles of equality and mutual respect when carrying out bilateral dialogues and communication in the field of human rights with related countries. In 2009 China held human rights dialogues and consultations with the European Union, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Australia and Norway, and communicated with countries such as Russia and Laos. Through dialogue and communication with other countries, mutual understanding concerning human rights has been enhanced, gaps have been narrowed and consensuses have been reached.
The full realization of human rights is an important goal for China in its efforts to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way as well as to build a harmonious society. Working closely with other countries, China will, as always, spare no efforts and contribute its due share to ensure the continuous progress of China's human rights, as well as the healthy development of human rights in the rest of the world and the building of a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.
From: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2009