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Protecting the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities in the PRC

China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-26 07:55
Zhang Yong from Shanghai (right), crosses the finish line in the men's full marathon wheelchair race on April 13 during China's 10th National Paralympic Games in Tianjin. He completed the 42-kilometer course in 1 hour, 24 minutes, 59 seconds. [YUE YUEWEI/XINHUA]

X. International Exchanges and Cooperation

China actively participates in international exchanges and cooperation on disability, promotes better understanding and stronger support in the international community for the cause of persons with disabilities in China, and contributes to the development and progress of these people worldwide.

Fulfilling obligations in international instruments on disability. China fulfills all the responsibilities and obligations of a signatory state prescribed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In accordance with the provisions of the convention, China submitted its first report in 2010, which was reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In 2018, it submitted a consolidated report of the second and third implementations of the convention. As a signatory state of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which is a core human right instrument, China respects and safeguards all the rights of persons with disabilities as stipulated by the covenant. In 1987, China approved the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention from the International Labor Organization, and submitted the latest report of its implementation in 2015.

Living up to international responsibilities. China actively provides financial, technical and material support to the UN, and to relevant international disability organizations and developing countries. We have donated assistive devices for persons with disabilities to more than 10 countries including Ethiopia, Burundi and Mongolia, provided humanitarian relief to tsunami-stricken Southeast Asian countries with a focus on persons with disabilities, subscribed to the Development Fund for the International Paralympic Committee, and given capacity-building training to people with disabilities from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies and Africa. In 2016, chairwoman of the CDPF Zhang Haidi was elected chair of Rehabilitation International (RI). China has subsidized the RI in establishing the Africa Fund and the Global Disability Development Fund.

Actively advancing the international cause of persons with disabilities. China is an active advocate and participant of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have worked to include the cause of persons with disabilities in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We have helped to establish disability cooperation mechanisms within APEC, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), China-Asian Expo and other frameworks. China energetically carries out cooperation along the Belt and Road to promote the cause.

With the support of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), we initiated the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities. China and the UN ESCAP jointly hosted the High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Midpoint Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022, at which the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan was adopted. We hosted the ASEM High-level Meeting on Disability and Global Conference on Assistive Devices and Technology. China actively participates in and hosts international events for persons with disabilities, including seminars, art festivals, and vocational skills competitions. It has participated in the Paralympic Games many times.

Winning international acclaim for our efforts to ensure the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. The international community speaks highly of China's achievements and experience in protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. In 2003, Deng Pufang, then chairman of the CDPF, became the first Chinese and the first disabled Chinese to be awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize. In 2012, Zhang Haidi, chairwoman of the CDPF, won the Asia-Pacific Disability Rights Champions Award from the UN ESCAP. In 2016, China hosted the 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Ban Ki-moon, then UN secretary-general, attended the meeting and hailed China's efforts in protecting the rights and interests of people with disabilities.

Conclusion

The development of the programs of persons with disabilities are still unbalanced and inadequate in China, and lags behind the level of national economic and social development. There is still a big gap between the lives these people lead and lives to which they aspire, and a long-term effort will be required to fight the discrimination they face. We have a long way to go in ensuring the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, and in integrating the all-around improvement of their lives with that of wider society.

As a group who live with special difficulties, persons with disabilities should be fully respected, cared for, and assisted in every aspect of social interaction. China will continue to improve the mechanisms for ensuring their rights and interests-eliminating discrimination, fully respecting and guaranteeing their human rights, improving their well-being, enhancing their ability to better their own situation, and ensuring that they are able to participate in the country's development process and share the ensuing gains as equals.

Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as the core, in our quest to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, strive to realize socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, we will take disabled people's rights and interests, their all-around development and common prosperity as an important mission and regard them as the focus of our efforts, and open up a new vista for persons with disabilities in the new era.

  
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