Caixin
Sep 15, 2021 07:37 PM
CHINA

China’s New Human Rights Plan Aims for Better Protection of Women, Children

According to the action plan, employers should not limit their recruitment to male candidates only or give preference to men over women. Photo: VCG
According to the action plan, employers should not limit their recruitment to male candidates only or give preference to men over women. Photo: VCG

China has pledged to better protect women’s and children’s rights, including eliminating workplace gender discrimination and strengthening protection of minors, according to the latest human rights action plan issued by China’s cabinet.

The State Council document, which sets targets for the period from 2021 to 2025, contains more detail on the protection of women’s and children’s rights compared to the previous plan. It includes measures to guarantee equal employment rights, alleviate the burden of childrearing on women, crack down on crimes against minors and prevent juvenile delinquency.

The document is the fourth human rights action plan issued by the State Council since 2009. It contains nearly 200 targets and missions, 30 more than the previous action plan, Li Xiaojun, director for publicity at the Bureau of Human Rights Affairs of the State Council Information Office, said at a press briefing Tuesday.

According to the action plan, employers should not limit their recruitment to male candidates only or give preference to men over women, “unless otherwise specified by the state.” And labor security supervisors would be responsible for monitoring gender discrimination.

Employers should also establish and improve mechanisms that ensure gender equality in employment, salary, career development and maternity protection, “and mechanisms that help employees, women in particular, balance work and family responsibilities,” the document said.

Earlier this month, the All China Women’s Federation, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security jointly issued a notice on better protecting fresh female graduates’ rights in the workplace, including conducting joint regulatory talks with employers that suspected of gender discrimination.

Addressing public concerns over the burden of childrearing following the announcement of the three-child policy, the action plan says there will be more support to develop childcare services in 150 cities, and more resources will be allocated to rural areas, as well as urban areas that have increasing number of new residents to better guarantee accessible and affordable preschool education.

Regarding children’s rights, in addition to the note on protecting children’s rights to health care, the latest action plan adds that the country should protect minors’ right to dignity, prohibiting “corporal punishment in any form of minors or degrading of their dignity in any other way.”

The document states the need to protect children’s right to be informed and heard. “Before making decisions concerning the rights and interests of minors, the parents or other guardians of minors should hear what they think and consider their wishes fully, with due consideration to their age and mentality,” the document said.

The action plan also says that the country will strengthen the legal protection of minors. The country will improve protection of minors at home, schools, and society at large, and keep the juvenile crime rate at a relatively low level.

Contact reporter Cai Xuejiao (xuejiaocai@caixin.com) and editor Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com)

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