Be Informed: Know about the issues

The human rights situation in China is generally deteriorating and remains serious for human rights defenders, including journalists, workers, lawyers, petitioners, religious practitioners and health activists, and others who raise issues that the PRC government considers sensitive.

Below are select HRIC resources on current issues:

On Internet Censorship and Media Control

The Chinese government continues to maintain tight restrictions on freedom of speech and press, as evidenced by the surge in detentions in late 2004. A recent campaign to target "public intellectuals" resulted in the censorship of individuals, publications and broadcasts, as well as Internet and other wireless technology.
Trends Bulletins: Media censorship intensifies with new round of crackdowns Not too late for corporate leadership
From the Chinese Blogosphere: Anti's open statement
US Congressional Action: Congressional hearing testimoney and comments on HR 4780
HRIC Reports and Articles:
Rise of the Internet and Advancing Human Rights
Human Rights and SPAM: A China Case Study
Logging on in China's Internet Cafes
Media Control in China

On Human Rights Defenders and Social Unrest

Prisons, reeducation-through-labor camps, and detention centers in China hold thousands of political prisoners, although the exact number is not known. These numbers are estimates, due to category overlap, censorship and information control, and the lack of transparency in China. Serious legal defects and procedural concerns have also been identified by international monitors.

There appears to be a trend of growing number of reported protests, the scope of issues, and the range of groups and individuals involved; according to Ministry of Public Security, there were 87,000 cases of disturbances of public order recorded in 2005, an increase of 6.6 percent, or about 81,600 cases, over 2004.
Trends Bulletin: China responds to increasing social unrest with greater repression
A Chronology of Unrest: March 2003 – December 2004
Categorized Prisoner Profiles and In Custody lists
Case Highlight: Shi Tao and Yahoo

On Legal Reform

Although overall the number of lawyers in China is increasing, the number of lawyers willing to take up politically sensitive cases is decreasing due to the political and other pressures they face. According to the 2004 U.S. State Department Human Rights Report on China, the percentage of lawyers in the criminal bar declined from three percent in 1997 to 1 percent in 2001.

Where defendants have been charged with state secrets or are involved in other politically sensitive cases—in particular cases involving human rights—not only are they at risk in a system that does not adequately protect their rights to due process, but their lawyers are also under pressure. The implications of this pressure on the criminal defense and the rights to a full and fair trial are particularly severe when viewed in light of the extremely high conviction rate in China, and the extent to which the death penalty is imposed.
Reform of the Reeducation-through-Labor (RTL) System
Review of Procedural Law Raises Hopes for Justice
Empty Promises: Human Rights Protections and China's Criminal Procedure Law in Practice
Whose Security? State security in China's new criminal code
Impunity for Torturers Remain Despite Changes in the Law
Not Welcome at the Party: Behind the clean-up of China's cities

On Ethnic Minorities and Religion

Although freedom of religion is protected by the PRC Constitution, there are, in reality, serious constraints on this right for many religious groups.
Criminalizing Ethnicity: Political repression in Xinjiang
Devastating Blows: Religious repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang

On Beijing 2008: Summer Olympics

Promises, Promises: China's commitments and implementation concerns
Incorporating Responsibility: 2008
Venue construction

On Business, Trade and Human Rights

Trade, Investment and Human Rights: China's window of opportunity
China's Strategic Global Influence: text & map
Submission to the UN Special Representative on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations
Looking Back at Cancun and Forward to Hong Kong
China and the WTO: Year one
WTO Backgrounder
Norms/Codes of Conduct

On Children's, Women's, and Migrant's Rights

HRIC's report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC): Executive Summary
Suicide as Protest
Where have all the young girls gone?
Shutting Out the Poorest: Discrimination Against the Most Disadvantaged Migrant Children in China's City Schools
Institutionalized Exclusion: The tenuous legal status of internal migrants in China's major cities
HRIC's 1998 report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women

On Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

Advocacy Update: China reviewed over Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
HRIC's report on the implementation of the Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR): Executive Summary
The Right to Food: What (and Who?) is at stake

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HRIC Daily News Brief
HRIC's "Daily News Brief" blog is a daily compilation of selected human rights-related news covered in local and regional Chinese and English press compiled by HRIC. The blog does not purport to be comprehensive, but aims to highlight the latest developments on important human rights issues.

HRIC Monthly Brief
The information contained in the Monthly Brief is based on information collected by HRIC. It provides a summary of arrests, detentions, trials, sentences and releases for the month and should be viewed as a representation of larger trends of dissent and repression in China.

HRIC Article Alerts
HRIC's "Article Alerts" blog is a monthly compilation of selected human rights-related articles covered in local and regional Chinese and English news magazines and academic journals compiled by HRIC. Only article titles (translated into English by HRIC staff) are available for viewing.

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