China to better protect human rights

Updated: 2013-12-11 14:51

"Chinese Dream" is the dream of 1.3 billion Chinese people. Reform is the only way to realize the dream.

The communique of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee said China will improve judicial practices and protection of human rights. It is the first time CPC addressed the "judicial system to protect human rights".

As Dec 10 marks world Human Rights Day, China Daily website chronicles the improvements of human rights in ten sectors.

1. Judicial system

Boost the judicial system to protect human rights. Improve mechanisms to avoid false accusations and confessions obtained through torture. Gradually reduce the number of charges that could lead to a death penalty.

China to better protect human rights

China to improve judicial practice and protection of human rights

Endeavors should be made to uphold the constitution and laws, deepen reforms in administrative law enforcement and ensure independence and fairness in prosecuting bodies and courts, as well as to improve judicial practice and protection of human rights, according to the communique.

In a bid to build China under the rule of law, it is imperative to build a fair, efficient and authoritative socialist judicial system and safeguard the rights and legitimate interests of the people. >>

China to better protect human rights

2. Laojiao abolished

Laojiao, or re-education through labor, will be abolished. Meanwhile, strengthen the judicial relief and legal aid system. 

China to better protect human rights

Laojiao site to change role after abolishment

Institutions for reeducation through labor are seeking new roles after the decision to abolish them.

"The key to the functional changing of the former Laojiao sites is to advocate a greater role for the local society, based on the existing infrastructure," said Kong Shuhua, director of the Justice Bureau of Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture. >>

End of laojiao to take time

Although the Party has decided to abolish the controversial "re-education through labor" system, a move hailed by legal professionals as a major step in protecting human rights, the official end of the half-century-old penalty system can come no earlier than late December, experts said. >>

China to better protect human rights

3. Hukou reform

Build a healthy urbanization that puts people at the center. Reform of the hukou (or household registration) system will be accelerated to help farmers become urban residents.

China to better protect human rights

China to accelerate 'hukou' system reform

The country will relax overall control over farmers settling in towns and small cities, and relax restrictions on settling in medium-sized cities in an orderly manner, the document showed. China should set reasonable requirements for rural residents to obtain hukou in large cities, and strictly control the size of population in megacities. >>

Hukou reform expected to be a gradual process

Hukou reform would be one result of rural land reform, urbanization and social security, although the communique of the just-concluded Third Plenum of the Communist Party of China's 18th Central Committee did not mention it by name. The communique rather stressed a balanced distribution of public resources and equalization of social welfare, which some say will ultimately yield the desired result. >>

China to better protect human rights

4. Retirement age delay

Establish a fairer and more sustainable social welfare system. Stipulate policies for gradually suspending the retirement age of employees.

China to better protect human rights

Retirement reform 30-yr plan should be considered

China should suspend the retirement age for both male and female employees to the age of 65 in 30 years, urged a member of China's top legislative body.

Zheng Gongcheng, a deputy to the National People's Congress, proposed that the retirement age reform should first be implemented for female employees. >>

Retirement age delay to apply gradually

With increasing pressure on pensions, delaying the retirement age is inevitable. However, the reform will not be applied across the board immediately as it will have different impacts on different social groups. Those who work in mainly intellectual positions with high technologies will be the pioneers for the reform, as this group mostly wants to extend the retirement age and can bring significant economic benefits to the society. >>

China to better protect human rights

5. Medical and health reform

Deepen the reform of the medical and health sectors. Speed the reform of public hospitals. Encourage private investment in the medical sector and prioritize supporting nonprofit hospitals run by private investors. Allow doctors to have a license to work in more than one hospital. Allow medical insurance to cover private hospitals.

China to better protect human rights

Unifying medical insurances a gradual process

China is attempting to put its three medical insurance systems under one administration, but a healthcare researcher has warned that obstacles still remain, and an effective solution is to merge two of them initially. >>

China targets 8-trillion-yuan health service sector 

China has set the target of increasing the gross value of its health service sector to over 8 trillion yuan ($1.31 trillion) by 2020, according to a guideline issued by the State Council on Monday. More measures will be taken to boost this sector, which will serve to improve people's wellbeing as well as shoring up growth, said the guideline. >>

China to better protect human rights

6. Employment mechanism

Improve the supporting mechanism for employment and entrepreneurship. Employment-supporting policies should target college graduates, migrant workers, impoverished city dwellers and retired soldiers. Entrepreneurship of college students and making better use of government funds to help graduates work and start their own businesses should be promoted.

China to better protect human rights

Ministry calls for reports on graduate employment 

The Ministry of Education has asked all higher educational institutions to release reports on the "quality" of employment found by graduates, starting 2014. Experts urged the introduction of independent reports from a third party and continuous tracking to better reflect the nature of graduate employment. >>

Grads encouraged to work in private firms

Chinese graduates are being encouraged by the government to work for non-public companies to boost employment and promote the private economy.

The Ministry of Education on Friday promised to break down barriers so graduates can find jobs in private firms. It said it would also improve the welfare of employees working for private companies, according to a ministry statement. >>

China to better protect human rights

7. "Two-child" rule

Allow couples to have two children if one parent is a single child and improve the family planning policy.

China to better protect human rights

New 'two-child' rules to start from early 2014

Starting early next year, Chinese couples are expected to be allowed to have a second child if either the father or mother is themselves an only child, said a senior family planning official on Saturday. Yang Wenzhuang, director of the family planning instruction department of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, made the remarks during an interview with China Central Television. >>

Wait a minute, baby

In the wake of the announcement by the Communist Party of China on Friday that the country's one-child policy will be relaxed, senior officials are asking eager parents to wait until local regulations are revised. Family planning officials say couples eager to have a second child should wait until revised regulations are passed down to local levels. >>

Toward a balanced population 

China's demographic dividends have been deteriorating since the early 1980s because of the family planning policy, under which most urban couples could have only one child. Among the problems it has created is the yawning gender imbalance. >>

China to better protect human rights

8. Education reform

Deepen educational reform. Continue reforms of the examination and enrollment system by evaluating students not only by their final exam scores but also their performance in school. Students should get more than one chance to take an exam that decides their enrollment. Provincial-level educational authorities and schools should enjoy greater autonomy.

China to better protect human rights

Education reform to help students

The chances of students pursuing higher education have grown with the college admission rate reaching 80 percent. That's why the proposed change to the college entrance exam (gaokao) is no small matter. It wouldn't be exaggeration to say that it will have an impact on the lives of millions of Chinese families. >>

Reform prescribes sound dose for gaokao disorder

Is your child attending a local high school? Do you want him or her to be a nerdy science student, or a graduate well versed in humanities but with an undisciplined mind? Both bad choices. But such a possibility is so real that even top Chinese leaders have started calling for an end to the decades-long practice that makes students choose physics, chemistry and biology, or history, politics and geography, as their main subjects during much of their three-year high school education in preparation for the national college entrance examination or gaokao. >>

Easing up on English

Starting in 2016, the points for English in China's national college entrance examination, gaokao, will fall from 150 to 100, according to a draft paper released by the Beijing Education Examinations Authority on Monday, which was aimed at gauging public opinion. >>

China to better protect human rights

9. Property tax

Improve the taxation system. Accelerate property-tax legislation and related reform at an appropriate time. Change the current environmental-protection fee into an environment tax. 

China to better protect human rights

Property tax may be expanded

Second-tier cities with rapidly increasing housing prices might be subjected to property tax, business newspaper China Times reported on Wednesday, citing officials from the State Administration of Taxation. "Expanding the pilot city project for property tax is an important agenda for tax and fiscal departments this year," said the official, who requested anonymity. >>

China unifies public housing schemes

China is to combine two subsidized housing programs -- low-rent and public rental -- and manage them together as "public rental housing."

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said on Friday that housing authorities were to merge all low rent projects into public rental housing next year. >>

Reforms to improve access to affordable housing

Reforms to be rolled out in 2014 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development aim to provide better access to affordable housing and more choices for those in need, according to a senior housing official. >>

China to better protect human rights

10. Farmers' property rights

Farmers will be given more property rights. They are encouraged to develop a shareholding system from which they can realize benefits. Meanwhile, they can also sell a share or take it as collateral or warranty. They also have the right of succession. Moreover, the homestead system in rural areas will be improved, and farmers' usufruct rights of homestead will be ensured. A pilot program will be carried out in some areas to discover other channels for improving farmers' income. A rural property-rights trading market will be established.

China to better protect human rights

Farmers prepared to reap benefits from land reform

New policy to allow transfer of land-use rights will help boost development of rural economy. >>

Rural land transfer to help farmers

The Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, issued by the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, highlights the CPC's efforts to ensure that rural residents enjoy an equal share of the fruits of modernization. >>

China's agriculture head clarifies land reform policies

China's top agriculture official on Friday called for "comprehensive understanding" of the land reform package outlined last month after various interpretations since the announcement prompted concerns that the policy may go off track. >>

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