Chapter 11: Objects of pity or subjects of rights? Disability and human rights in the People’s Republic of China
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China was an active participant in the international process that led to the promulgation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by the PRC in 2008. However, current policy and practice in China reveals a variety of approaches to disability, many of which diverge sharply from the human rights paradigm articulated by the CRPD. While the Chinese government is making impressive efforts to reduce poverty and improve welfare for people with disabilities, serious concerns still exist regarding education, employment, mental health, social attitudes and other issues that directly affect the lives of disabled people. Meanwhile, the CCP’s recent promotion of ‘disability work with Chinese characteristics’ could challenge internationally agreed norms around disability rights, while new limitations on civil space severely constrain the ability of disabled people to advocate for equality, non-discrimination and improved human rights.

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