NCHR Panel on Legal Education for Equality
The NCHR hosted a panel on Legal Education for Equality in China during the International Conference of the Nordic Association for China Studies (NACS) in Bergen last week.
‘When China Faces the World: Engagement or Disengagement?’ was the theme of the conference, and parallel panel sessions were held over two days covering a broad range of topics on China. The conference was organised by NACS, the Department of Foreign Language at the University of Bergen and FAFO Institute Foundation, Oslo, with the Research Council of Norway as the main sponsor.
Positive impact on Children's lives in rural areas
After running for three years the project has already led to very positive improvements in the situation for children in the selected rural areas in China. Children with disabilities attending school increased from 59 % to 84 %, the amount of dropouts and girls who married before the age of 18 has decreased, and close to 100 % of the orphans in the selected villages are now receiving orphan allowances. In addition, 100 % of the families are now registered for health insurance through the New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme.
The NCHR International Department has cooperated with Dr. Zhang Liu and the Child Welfare Research Centre on developing a Chinese handbook on domestic violence against children which will be published this summer.
Education to prevent and protect against domestic violence
Wang Yi, Head of Human Rights Education at the NCHR International Department and moderator of the panel talked about the role of education for the implementation of the new law against domestic violence in China. The law came into force in 2016, and focuses on prevention and protective mechanisms, in addition to clarifying legal responsibilities. The law is an important step forward from existing legislation, since it legally defines domestic violence as both physical and psychological abuse of family members and cohabitant non-family members. As the law alone cannot protect victims from their perpetrators there is a need to educate and train people in order to raise awareness and inform victims about their rights.
NCHR supported the legal education and research activities of the Anti-Domestic Violence Network (ADVN) in China for ten years. Some of the activities included were awareness raising and capacity building, trainings and workshops to targeted groups such as government officers, police, health workers, media and students. ADVN also renewed training manuals and delivered an academic draft of the anti-domestic violence law to the National Peoples Congress. ADVN has contributed to make the term ‘domestic violence’ less sensitive and contributed to the advocacy for a Personal Protection Order, allowing for restraining orders against perpetrators of domestic violence that was later included in the anti-domestic violence law.
New handbooks on victims of domestic violence
NCHR is now involved in supporting the production of three handbooks for various Chinese professional groups on how to enforce the law, and how to protect the victims of domestic violence in the best possible way. A handbook on domestic violence towards elderly people was published in 2018, and handbooks on children and women will be published this summer.
In her closing remarks Wang Yi said that despite China’s latest and important legislative achievements in these areas there are still many challenges standing in the way of full implementation, and that changing mindsets is not an easy task.
The NCHR also supports education on gender and human rights for university teachers in China as well as other education activities on equality and non-discrimination issues. More information about equality and non-discrimination work at the NCHR