Chinese human rights scholar submits shadow report to UN committee
November 13,2015 By:chinahumanrights.org
|Nov.13,2015--The UN Committee against Torture (CAT) will meet at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from November 9 to December 9 to examine measures adopted by Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan, Austria, Denmark, China and Jordan to prevent and punish acts of torture.
Early in September this year, Zhang Wei, vice director of the Institute for Human Rights of China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) submitted a shadow report with regards to China’s implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the “Convention”). The whole report was released on the website of the Office of the Higher Commissioner for Human Rights on November 6, 2015.
Shadow reports are a method for NGOs to supplement or provide an alternative point of view to governmental reports that states are required to submit under international treaties. The shadow report submitted by Professor Zhang expounded China’s implementation of the Convention and proposed opinions and suggestions about preventing cruel punishment in China.
Zhang’s report mainly discussed three issues. In the first part, he stated protecting the right of the detained to meet with lawyers and made suggestions on how to protect criminal suspects and defendants’ rights to access to lawyers. In the second part, he clarified the importance of providing relevant human rights education. He said China should provide platforms and channels for Chinese human rights education through National Human Rights Action Plan. In the third part, he called for the establishment of a national human rights institution (NHRI) in China. The concept of a national human rights institution was first introduced at an international conference on National Human Rights Institutions organized by the Institute for Human Rights of the CUPL and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Qingdao in 2004. Since then, it has become a hot topic for Chinese human rights scholars. After some eleven years of research and debates on NHRI in China, we firmly believe that a NHRI can play an important and unique role for better implementation and monitoring of all international human rights treaties including the CAT in China.
The Convention, adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in 1984, entered into force on 26 June 1987. Up to now, the convention has been ratified or acceded to by 158 countries and obtained global recognition. As China signed in more and more core international human rights conventions, more and more NGOs in China are getting involved. This year’s session of the CAT has seen many shadow reports from Chinese NGOs. Shadow reports as a channel for Chinese NGOs to promote China’s human rights progress demonstrate that the Chinese government pays equally high attention to the cause of human rights development.