Handbook on Human Rights in China
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Handbook on Human Rights in China

Edited by Sarah Biddulph and Joshua Rosenzweig

This Handbook gives a wide-ranging account of the theory and practice of human rights in China, viewed against international standards, and China’s international engagements around human rights. The Handbook is organised into the following sections: contested meanings; international dimensions; economic and social rights; civil and political rights; rights in/action and access to justice; political dimensions of human rights in Greater China; and new frontiers.
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Chapter 10: Examining China’s compliance to emerging international norms regarding environmental rights

Anna Brettell


This chapter discusses China’s response to emerging international law and norms regarding human rights in the context of the environment and climate change. It focuses on the substantive and procedural obligations of states outlined in international law. It then examines the degree to which Chinese authorities have taken steps to comply with those obligations at the domestic level, primarily in relation to environmental pollution. While there are some positive developments, Chinese leaders have not been very proactive in integrating human rights principles into domestic environmental and climate change policies and laws; and they continue to allow practices leading to environmental harms that interfere with the enjoyment of Chinese citizens’ economic, social and cultural rights. China has a long way to go to be in compliance with its substantive and procedural obligations under international human rights law, and rights-related standards and norms linked to international environmental and climate change agreements.

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