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China on track to meet human rights plan goals


BEIJING – China has been working effectively toward goals set by the National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-2015), with most quantitative targets at least half fulfilled in the past two years.
Director of the State Council Information Office (SCIO), Cai Mingzhao, said this at an interim review meeting on the action plan on Tuesday.
“China has made considerable progress in human rights protection,” Cai said.
Last year, disposable income of urban residents grew seven per cent while per capita net income of rural residents rose to 9.3 per cent.
In addition, the poor rural population fell by 16.5 million compared to 2012, according to Cai.
In 2013, the ratio of elected deputies to represented population in the National People’s Congress, the national legislature, was the same for rural and urban areas for the first time ever.
Cai said that grass-roots self-governance improved, as over 98 per cent of village level party committees were now directly elected.
He cited another example of greater democratic rights.
Meanwhile, the interests and rights of ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and disabled ,had been better protected.
In addition, international exchanges and cooperation in the field of human rights had also progressed.
Cai said 280,000 poverty-stricken households with disabled members had seen their homes installed with facilities for their convenience, and more than 15 million physically impaired had received rehabilitation therapy.
Also, the central government channeled 46.4 billion yuan (about 7.58 billion U.S. dollars) to ethnic minority regions in 2013, an increase of 10.5 per cent year on year.
Cai, nevertheless, warned that a sober mind was still needed when implementing the action plan.
“China is still a developing country, both socially and economically, and it has considerable development gaps among regions and across urban and rural areas.
“Therefore, unbalanced and unsustainable development patterns still exist, which hamper efforts to advance human rights.
“In addition, as China’s reform efforts sail into an unchartered territory, emergencies that threaten public health or security will occur, and social problems that endanger public interests still exist,” Cai said.
He explained that there were still huge challenges ahead to achieve all the targets within the timetable.
The Chinese government publicised the National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-2015) in June 2012, promising to address challenges and work for the happiness and dignity of every citizen.
The plan was China’s second national plan for human rights protection and served as a policy document for advancing human rights.
All targets and tasks set by the previous action plan, which covered the 2009-2010 period, were fulfilled as scheduled. (Xinhua/NAN)

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