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China's Human Rights Action Plan fully implemented, finds third-party evaluation

Human Rights

The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016-2020), released by the Chinese government in September 2016, has been fully implemented, according to an evaluation by third-party experts.

XinhuaUpdated:  September 30, 2021

The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016-2020), released by the Chinese government in September 2016, has been fully implemented, according to an evaluation by third-party experts.

All of the 168 objectives and tasks have been completed, many of which have been completed ahead of time or over the goals set in the Action Plan, said an evaluation report on the Action Plan implementation unveiled Wednesday.

"Generally speaking, from 2016 to 2020, China adhered to the people-centered development concept, earnestly implemented the constitutional principle of 'respecting and protecting human rights,' and took practical measures to actively promote the implementation of the objectives and tasks" of the Action Plan, read the report.

The evaluation was conducted by the China Society for Human Rights Studies and the Human Rights Institute of Southwest University of Political Science and Law.

Highlights of the evaluation report are as follows:


On the front of safeguarding people's economic, social and cultural rights, the Chinese government has achieved excellent results in various indicators.

The indicators include meeting the target of eradicating extreme poverty, implementing full coverage of social insurance, improving the system of property protection, enhancing the capacity of primary-level medical and health services, and promoting the standardization of and equal access to basic public cultural services.

However, further efforts should be made in aspects including implementing the paid annual leave system, protecting the basic rights and interests of workers in flexible employment, and regularizing the application of the special working-hour system.


On the protection of civil and political rights, indicators were rated as excellent in terms of the protection of citizens' personal freedom in accordance with the law, the improvement of the protection of lawyers' rights to practice law, the improvement of the speedy processing mechanism for minor criminal cases and the speedy adjudication procedure for criminal cases, the improvement of the legal system for religious affairs, the improvement of the level of informatization and centralization of government affairs, the promotion of the disclosure of information on law enforcement and justice, and the protection of the right to information and democratic participation of employees in enterprises and institutions.

At the same time, there is still room for further improvement in aspects including the full implementation of the principle of adjudication of evidence and the establishing of a relief system for victims of crime.


The Chinese government has taken a series of effective initiatives to guarantee the rights of specific groups in a favorable manner, raising the level of protection of the rights of ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and the disabled, said the report.

Major progress has been achieved in such indicators as eliminating absolute poverty in ethnic minority areas, preventing and combating crimes of trafficking in women and children, completing the elderly care system, improving the social welfare system and assistance system for the elderly, and providing rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities.

Meanwhile, further improvements are needed in ensuring paid parental leave for male employees, building nurseries for children aged under three and developing social organizations for the elderly.


From 2016 to 2020, the Chinese government has taken major initiatives such as strengthening human rights education and adding new human rights research platforms to effectively raise society's awareness of respecting and protecting human rights.

Remarkable progress was seen in indicators such as supporting universities to develop and offer courses related to human rights education, recruiting masters and doctoral students in human rights law studies and supporting experts and scholars in universities to carry out research on human rights theory with Chinese characteristics in various ways.

Six research units were selected as the third batch of national bases for human rights education and training in 2020.

However, the spread of human rights knowledge in society needs to be further improved.


The Chinese government has received recognition in submitting the reports on implementing an array of international human rights conventions on schedule, participating in the work of the UN's human rights mechanisms, successfully passing the third round of country-specific human rights reviews by the UN Human Rights Council.

Excellent results have also been attained in enhancing international consultation and cooperation and providing technical assistance in the human rights field demanded by other developing countries.

At the same time, the preparatory work for the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights needs to be further strengthened.