Seeking Happiness for People: 70 Years of Progress on Human Rights in China
Engaging in international human rights undertakings. Since resuming its legitimate seat in the UN in 1971, China has sent delegations to every UN General Assembly and UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) conference, and actively joined in the reviews of issues concerning human rights. From 1979 to 1981, China attended the annual meetings of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) as an observer state. In 1981 China was elected a UNCHR member state at the ECOSOC's Management Segment. In 1982, China became an official member state of the UNCHR and has maintained this position ever since. Since the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was established in 2006, China has been elected as a member state four times. A number of experts recommended by China have served on multilateral human rights organizations or special commissions such as the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United Nations Committee against Torture, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
China maintains constructive contacts with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office (OHCHR), receiving eight visits by high commissioners to China, and inviting many of the OHCHR officials to visit China. In recent years, China has signed two memorandums of understanding on technological cooperation concerning judicial reform, police and human rights, human rights education, and implementation of human rights treaties, and held together with the OHCHR many international conferences on human rights. Since 1994, China has invited ten visits by eight UN representatives and groups: the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, the United Nations Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice, the United Nations Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of states on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. China handles letters from the Special Procedures of the UNHRC with due attention, carrying out any necessary investigations and giving timely replies.