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 17: Freedom from torture

Margaret K. Lewis


China became a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment thirty years ago. Yet in its most recent review of China’s performance, the United Nations Committee against Torture seriously questioned the Chinese government’s claim that it is making enormous efforts to stop torture. This chapter begins by addressing China’s commitments to eradicate torture and legal reforms to date, as well as the present climate of simultaneous reform and repression. It next examines what is known regarding the prevalence of torture, the effectiveness of legal measures aimed at curbing torture, the workings of the Party disciplinary system, and the future trajectory of reform efforts. It concludes by raising currently unanswerable questions regarding the right to be free from torture in China today.

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