National Human Rights Action Plan

At first glance anyway, it looks like a re-iteration of issues that aren’t defined or stipulated for the first time. China’s central government published its first working plan on human rights on Monday. Its scope is from 2009 to 2010, and is reportedly a response to the United Nations’ call in 1993 to establish human rights plans.

Details can be found on the China Radio International website, but I don’t want to leave it there without quoting a very tangible regulation:

For detainees’ convenience, complaint letter boxes should be set up in their cells and a detainee may meet the procurator stationed in a prison or detention house by appointment, if the former feels he has been abused and wants to make a complaint.

Besides, the plan contains a number of economic development items (as papers on human rights in China usually do):

– To create 18 million new jobs for urban workers while helping 18 million rural laborers move to cities and towns to find jobs by 2010;

– To increase net annual income of some 800 million rural residents by 6 percent from the 4,761 yuan (696 U.S. dollars) recorded in 2008;

– To have more than 223 million people covered by the urban basic old-age pension insurance, 400 million people covered by basic medical care insurance, 120 million covered by unemployment insurance, and 140 million covered by workers’ compensation insurance;

– To provide safe drinking water for 60 million rural residents;

– To invest more than 2 billion yuan to help areas inhabited by ethnic minorities to accelerate economic and social development.

The next stimulus plan is casting its shadow – it may come this week, or later.

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