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Protection of the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities in China: Ideas, System and Challenges
September 07,2018   By:CSHRS
Protection of the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities in China: Ideas, System and Challenges
 
HAN Dayuan*
 
Abstract: People under the interpretation of Chinese culture have multiple values. It emphasizes not only people in the collective sense, but also individuals in the individual meaning. According to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, respecting and protecting the dignity and rights of persons with disabilities is the duty of the State and the whole of society, and one of the core values of the Constitution. The protection system for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities in China has basically taken shape, with positive progress in the protection of the right to rehabilitation, the right to education, and the right to employment. However, there are different challenges. We should continue to promote the rule of law for persons with disabilities and build a more complete system for the protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities.
 
Keywords: protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities    human values    right of accessibility
 
Ⅰ. Ideas of the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China
 
A. People under the interpretation of Chinese culture
 
What are people? This is a major issue that has plagued humankind for thousands of years. Theology, religion, ethics, biology, anthropology, sociology, and many other disciplines have tried to answer this question. Constitutional law as the protector of basic human rights is no exception. Especially since the modern era, the emergence of new technologies such as nuclear weapons, information technology and cloning have made this issue increasingly complicated.1 No matter what challenges we face, we need to come down to humankind itself to rethink contemporary challenges from the perspective of human dignity, adhere to the essence and morality of human beings, and respond to challenges in the spirit of human rights.
 
Before discussing the system of protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities in China, it is necessary to understand the interpretation of people in Chinese culture and the image of people in traditional Chinese culture. The concept of people has been in existence for a long time in China’s history and the concept runs through the entire process of its cultural and institutional evolution. Chinese character “ren” (people) is a single-structure pictographic character that evolved from oracle (a man standing upright with plumbing arms) and seal script (pick fruit).2 According to Analytical Dictionary of Chinese Characters, people have the most noble nature between heaven and earth. According to the Works of Mencius, Heaven’s favor is less important than Earth’s advantageous terrain, and Earth’s advantageous terrain is less important than human unity. Judging from the meaning of “ren”, in China’s history, people were not only indispensable, but also had a uniquely important status, which involved mutual dependence, mutual support and mutual benefits.
 
The evolution of human vocabulary and social recognition of human values are a process. In China, the carrier of some kind of social value transformation in human vocabulary is the emergence and development of the concept of human rights. People are the mainstay of social life and cannot be separated from the social environment and value consensus shaped by a particular constitution.3 The design of the concept and system of persons with disabilities based on this kind of culture embodies reciprocity and human love and interdependence and thus emphasizes the role of social solidarity and the value of the community. While protecting individual freedom, everyone should learn to live together in communities. Therefore, the State and society have the obligation to guarantee the rights of all people. An idea we often mention for making people’s lives better that “not one less” is also based on China’s cultural traditions and values.
 
B. People in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China
 
In the text of the current Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (herein-after referred to as the Constitution), the words “men”,”people”,”citizens” and”individuals” appear 490, 371, 51 and 51 times, while “nation”, “society” and “collective” appear 149, 82 and 19 times, which shows that the Constitution is based on the concept of the human dignity and value of the individual. The protection of human rights and the realization of dignity are the obligations of the State and the society and two of the core values of the Constitution. In addition to reflecting the values of individuals, the Constitution also attaches importance to the role of individuals in family, society and the country. The frequent appearance of “people” in the Constitution also reflects the basic idea that people in socialist China are the masters of the country. Under the perspective of China’s special history, “individuals” have the characteristics of both individuality and sociality, whose subjective status is determined in the process of subject interaction.4 Although different articles of the Constitution do describe people differently, these expressions are not a division of the identity of social subjects, but merely a concrete presentation of people in different fields of social life. For example,“farmer” is only a label of profession in the Constitution and not an identity as a per-son.
 
C. Constitutional regulations on the protection of rights and interests of persons with disabilities
 
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese government continued to improve the system of protection of persons with disabilities through laws and policies. Paragraph 2 of Article 50 of the 1978 Constitution stipulated that the State cared for and protected the lives of revolutionary disabled soldiers and families of revolutionary martyrs. When the Constitution was amended in 1982, specific content for of safeguarding the rights of persons with disabilities were added. Article 45 of the current Constitution states that “people of the People’s Republic of China have the right to material assistance from the State and society when they are old, ill or disabled. The State develops the social insurance, social relief and medical and health services that are required to enable citizens to enjoy this right. The State and society ensure the livelihoods of disabled members of the armed forces, provide pensions to the families of martyrs and give preferential treatment to the families of military personnel. The State and society help make arrangements for the work, livelihood and education of the blind, deaf-mute and other handicapped citizens.” This article of the Constitution actually confirms the constitutional basis of the legal system for the protection of persons with disabilities.
 
Under the guidance of the constitutional spirit, Mr. Deng Pufang established the China Disabled Persons’ Federation in 1988. In 2004, “the State respects and protects human rights” was written into the Constitution through constitutional amendment, which means that “human rights” have been transformed from a general political principle into a unified legal concept and constitutional principle. It also heralded profound changes in the values of China and provided a strong constitutional guarantee for the development of China’s system of persons with disabilities protection. At the same time, the Chinese government has also been committed to promoting international protection of persons with disabilities. In 2008, China formally ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and since has actively participated in international cause of handicapped people, making positive contributions to the development of international human rights undertakings.
 
Ⅱ. System and Features of China’s Protection of the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities
 
At present, the total number of persons with various disabilities in China has reached more than 85 million, among which more than 15 million live below the national poverty line. Persons with disabilities are still one of the most difficult social groups in China today.5 Many persons with disabilities have difficulty enjoying equal development with other members of the society due to various limitations.
 
China’s legal system for persons with disabilities has always been based on the Constitution. On the basis of legislation first and development in accordance with the law, a system of laws and regulations covering the rehabilitation, education, employment, accessibility, and social security for persons with disabilities has been established, and it is being constantly developed and improved.
 
A. Adhering to legislation first
 
Constitutional protection of the rights of the weak depends on active legislation, and promoting legislation is an obligation of the State according to the Constitution, on December 28, 1990, the 17th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People’s Congress adopted the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter referred to as the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities), which was China’s first law protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. It systematically regulates the rights of persons with disabilities to rehabilitation, education, employment, cultural life, welfare,and access to the physical environment. On April 24, 2008, the Standing Com-mittee of the National People’s Congress amended the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities to give more prominence to the social security of persons with disabilities’s rights and the provision of a “barrier-free environment.” In 2012, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress assessed the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities and held that “a legal system for the protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities centered on the Constitution, based on the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, supported by administrative regulations and local regulations, and supplemented by the State Council departmental rules and local government regulations, has been basically formed.”6
 
Since the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, China has successively promulgated a series of supporting administrative regulations concerning the protection of rights and interests of persons with disabilities, including the Regulations on Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, Ordinance on the Education of Persons with disabilities, Ordinance on the Employment of Persons with disabilities, and Ordinance on Construction of a Barrier-Free Environment. In 2016, the country formulated or revised special regulations and rules for persons with disabilities, including 10 at the provincial level and nine at the prefecture level, and formulated or revised 23 provincial, 54 municipal and 208 county-level regulatory documents to protect the rights and interests of persons with disabilities.7 As of the end of 2016, a total of 1,921 legal assistance agencies for the disabled were set up, 1,670 legal aid workstations for the disabled were established, and 3,701 cases were handled nationwide.8 In addition to the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, there are, up to now, 154 laws and regulations concerning the protection of rights and interests of persons with disabilities in China, including civil law, commercial law, ad-ministrative law, economic law, social law, criminal law, procedural law, and non-litigation procedural law. The legal system for the protection of persons with disabilities has basically been completed.
 
B. System of China’s protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities
 
In order to promote the development of work on persons with disabilities and protect their rights and interests, China has established special laws and regulations that apply to persons with disabilities in response to the situation that the rights of persons with disabilities are vulnerable to violations.
 
1. Protection of right to rehabilitation
 
Article 15 of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities stipulates that “The State guarantees the right of persons with disabilities to enjoy rehabilitation services. People’s governments at all levels and relevant departments shall take measures to create conditions for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and establish,create and improve the rehabilitation service system for persons with disabilities, and implement key rehabilitation projects in phases to help persons with disabilities recover or compensate for their functions and enhance their ability to participate in social life.” In order to prevent the occurrence of disabilities, reduce the level of disability, help persons with disabilities recover or compensate for functions, and promote the equal and full participation of persons with disabilities in social life, the State should actively prevent disabilities and focus on the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
 
According to the Statistical Communique on the Development of Work on Persons with Disabilities in China, in 2016, through the implementation of precise rehabilitation services, 2.80 million handicapped children and certified disabled psersons were provided with basic rehabilitation services.among which 400,000 are visually impaired, 185,000 hearing impaired, 1,357,000 physically disabled, 231,000 intellectually disabled and 626,000 mentally disabled. In the year, 150,000 disabled children aged 0 to 6 received basic rehabilitation services.9 In 2017, China promulgated and implemented the Regulations on Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, which made up for the gap in special regulations for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities in China and provided legal support for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
 
2. Protection of right to education
 
The Constitution stipulates the right to education of persons with disabilities, as shown in Article 45. The Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women, Law on the Protection of Minors, Compulsory Education Law and other laws also include provisions on the education of persons with disabilities. Article 19 of the Compulsory Education Law stipulates that “the local people’s governments at the county level or above shall, where necessary, set up schools (classes) of special education, so as to provide compulsory education to the school-age children and adolescents who have eyesight, hearing and intellectual impairments. The schools (classes) of special education shall have places and facilities suitable for the study, rehabilitation and living characteristics of children and adolescents with disabilities. Ordinary schools shall accept school-age children and adolescents with disabilities who are able to receive ordinary education, to study along with the normal classes and shall provide assistance for their study and recuperation.” Concerning the right to education for persons with disabilities, Chapter 3 of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities mainly stipulates the responsibilities of related organizations, education based on student characteristics, development guidelines, schooling channels, general education methods, special education methods, adult education, teachers, and supplementary means. Under the guidance of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, the State Council formulated and revised Article 2(1) of the Regulations on Education for Individuals with Disabilities, which stipulates clearly that “the State guarantees the right to equal access to education for persons with disabilities and prohibits any educational discrimination based on disabilities.” The article revised and improved the development goals and concepts of education for persons with disabilities, school admission arrangements, teaching standards, the construction of teachers, and protection and support for persons with disabilities.
 
In addition to formulating laws and regulations, protecting the right to education for persons with disabilities is also an obligation of various State organs. In addition to continuing to implement the Special Education Enhancement Program (2014-2016), the Legal Affairs Office of the State Council also formulated, the Special Education Phase II Enhancement Program (2017-2020) to further improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities and their equal participation in the society. Every school-age child has the right to education, and persons with disabilities are no exception. According to statistics, in 2016, there were altogether 111 general senior high school classes (divisions) of special education in China with 7,686 students, including 6,129 deaf students and 1,557 blind students. There were 118 secondary vocational schools (classes) for persons with disabilities with 11,209 students and 3,855 graduates, of whom 2,206 have obtained vocational qualification certificates. Besides, 9,592 persons with disabilities have been admitted by general institutions of higher education and 1,941 persons with disabilities have been enrolled by advanced special institutions of higher education.10
 
3. Protection of right to employment
 
The Constitution, laws and regulations of China guarantee the right to employment of persons with disabilities. Relevant laws mainly include the Labor Law, the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, the Vocational Education Law, and the Employment Promotion Law. Article 14 of the Labor Law stipulates that “any special stipulations in laws and regulations about the employment of the disabled, minority people, and demobilized soldiers shall be observed.” Article 15 of the Vocational Education Law stipulates that vocational training for the disabled shall be provided by institutions of education for the disabled. The Employment Promotion Law clearly states that the State guarantees the employment rights of persons with disabilities. People’s governments at all levels shall make overall plans for the employment of persons with disabilities and create employment conditions for them. Employing units must not discriminate against persons with disabilities while recruiting personnel.
 
In order to provide a barrier-free environment for persons with disabilities, the revised the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities further stipulates”discrimination based on disabilities is prohibited”, that “the State guarantees the right to work of persons with disabilities”, and that “persons with disabilities shall not be discriminated against in recruitment, application for formal staff, promotion, evaluation of professional title, rest and holiday, labor remuneration, welfare, andsocial insurance.” In addition, the principle of concentration and decentralization is implemented in the employment of persons with disabilities. Apart from centralized employment of persons with disabilities in welfare enterprises, China’s laws clearly stipulates for the first time that the State shall practice a system of pro rata employment targeted at persons with disabilities and adopt preferential policies and supportive protection measures to gradually popularize, stabilize and rationalize their employment. After 2011, China created another two types of employment for persons with disabilities, namely supportive employment and public welfare employment.
 
China’s protection of the right to employment of persons with disabilities is com-prehensive. In 2016, there were 312,000 new certified disabled employees across China and 605,000 persons with disabilities having attended urban and rural real-name trainings.Among all the 8,691,000 certified disabled employees, 669,000 were employed through pro rata employment system, 293,000 through centralized employment, and 639,000 were self-employed. In 2016, a total of 18,997 blind keep-fit massage workers and 5,267 blind medical massage workers were trained: there were 18,605 keep-fit massage organizations and 1,211 medical massage organizations.11
 
4. Protection of right to a barrier-free environment
 
Article 46 of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities stipulates that “the State and society shall gradually regularize the design of urban roads and buildings to the convenience of persons with disabilities and adopt barrier-free measures.”In addition, Article 63 of the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of the Aged revised in 2012 specifies that “the State establishes standards for the con-struction of barrier-free facilities. Newly built, reconstructed and expanded roads, public transport facilities, buildings, andresidential areas, shall comply with the national barrier-free construction standards. People’s governments at all levels and related departments shall give priority to the transformation of public service facilities that are closely related to the daily lives of the elderly in accordance with national criteria for the construction of barrier-free facilities.” Article 64 of the same law stipulates that “the State promotes the construction of livable communities for the elderly, guides and supports the development of livable houses for the elderly, and promotes and supports the transformation of barrier-free facilities for families with the elderly to create an accessible living environment for them.” These regulations not only ensure the implementation of principles of “equality”, “participation” and “sharing” in the Constitution, but also ensure that many persons with disabilities and senior citizens in China can enjoy equal rights with other citizens and be protected from infringements. In order to regulate and promote a barrier-free environment, the State Council pro-mulgated the Ordinance of Barrier-Free Environment Construction in 2012, which covers the construction of barrier-free facilities, barrier-free informationexchange and accessible community services in municipal construction, public transportation, information exchange, community services and other areas. The Ordinance specifies the legislative objectives of “creating an accessible environment, safeguarding the equal participation in social lifeof persons with disabilities to other members of the society”, and established the principle that “barrier-free environmental construction should adapt to the level of economic and social development and be practical, easy-to-exe-cute and broadly beneficial”. In accordance with this principle, as of the end of 2016, a total of 451 provincial, prefectural, and county-level barrier-free construction and management regulations, rules, and regulatory documents have been issued. And 1,623 cities, counties, and districts systematically carried out barrier-free construction and implemented the barrier-free transformation for 930,000 households with disabilities.12
 
5. Protection of right to social security
 
Article 46 of Chapter 6 of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities stipulates that “the State guarantees the right to various social security of persons with disabilities. The government and society shall take measures to improve the social protection of persons with disabilities and to protect and improve their lives. “Chapter 6 of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities specifies that persons with disabilities are entitled to social insurance, social assistance, and other support measures according to the law, which reflects the general needs of social security for persons with disabilities. Social insurance for persons with disabilities is the core and basic part of the social security system for persons with disabilities. It mainly protects the basic needs of the disabled in cases of illness, old age, unemployment, work injury, and childbirth. It is necessary to implement the policy of urban poverty-stricken disabled individuals participating in basic old-age insurance subsidies, encourage and organize employed persons with disabilities to participate in social insurance, and help rural persons with disabilities to participate in rural social endowment insurance. Persons with disabilities and their employing units shall participate in social insurance in accordance with the related State regulations.
 
As for social assistance system for persons with disabilities, the first paragraph of Article 48 of the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities stipulates that “people’s governments at various levels shall provide life, education, housing, and other social assistance to persons with disabilities with real difficulties in life through various channels.” Besides, the first paragraph of Article 49 of the law states that “local people’s governments at all levels shall provide support for persons with disabilities who are not able to work, have no dependents, or whose dependents do not have the ability to support them or have no source of income in accordance with regulations.” As of the end of 2016, the number of urban and rural disabled residents participating in urban and rural social pension insurance reached 23.71 million, showing a participation rate of 79 percent. Besides, 2.69 million people with non-severe disabilities enjoyed full or partial exemption of premium insurance, and 9.36 million people received a pension.13 Some places also combine government guidance and social participation in assisting persons with disabilities under the mode of “medical insurance first, supplemented by civil assistance and charitable benefits from the China Disabled Persons’ Federation.”
 
Ⅲ. Challenges and Development Trends of the Protection of Persons with Disabilities’ Rights and Interests
 
Since reform and opening-up was launched in 1978, the legalization for protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities has made considerable progress. National plans for the disabled have been implemented, and government working committees for the disabled have been established. China also promotes humanitarianism, advocate support and help for the disabled, strives to create a social environment in which persons with disabilities can participate in social life equally with other people. Historic progress has been made in these respects, which has won China wide praise from the international community. However, we must also be clearly aware that there are still many problems and challenges to be overcome in protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities, and that we need to promote the continuous advancement of this work with legal thinking and rule of law.
 
A. Major challenges in the protection of persons with disabilities’ rights and interests
 
1. Large numbers of persons with disabilities
 
China is one of the countries with the largest number of persons with disabilities. There are many difficulties faced by persons with disabilities and their problems that need to be solved. Many physically persons with disabilities are faced with the dilemma of being unable to develop equally with other members of the community because of physical conditions. According to incomplete statistics of China Disabled Persons’ Federation and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development in 2016, persons with disabilities account for 80-90 percent of the population living in poverty in the developed eastern regions, 70-80 percent of the local population living in poverty in the central region, and 60-70 percent in the western region.14 It is worth noting that these populations are increasing in some places. Some persons with disabilities have difficulties in making a living and realizing personal development.
 
2. Idea of protection for persons with disabilities needs to be improved
 
After 40 years of development since the launch of reform and opening-up, the protection of rights and interests of persons with disabilities as part of human rights cause has received much attention from society. Respecting and safeguarding the rights and interests of persons with disabilities have become people’s conscious actions. However, disrespect, unequal treatment, and even discrimination against persons with disabilities are still evident in social life. Although the labels have changed from derogatory to neutral, the fundamental change required lies not in terms, but in reaching a consensus on the protection of human dignity and in making respect for persons with disabilities a natural part of life.
 
3. Unsatisfactory implementation of the law on the protection of persons with disabilities
 
As mentioned above, China has established a legal framework and system for persons with disabilities with the Constitution as its core. Relevant norms have been ready in the basic areas of disability protection. However, there is a gap between the implementation of laws and the expectations of persons with disabilities. For example, the inproportion employment of persons with disabilities in China is clearly stipulated by the law. In 2015, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation issued a notice on the issuance of the Administrative Measures on the Acquisition and Use of Persons with disabilities’ Employment Security Funds, but such problems as non-standard use of funds and lack of supervision appeared while carrying it out.
 
4. Imperfect barrier-free facilities
 
At present, the development of barrier-free facilities is not balanced. In some places, persons with disabilities cannot fully enjoy reasonable convenience and accessibility, cannot enjoy and exercise human rights and basic freedoms on an equal footing with others, and cannot effectively achieve the goal of integration into social life. Barrier-free facilities are not fully covered in necessary places and do not have perfect functions. Existing facilities, which are not systematic, not well-managed and maintained, and do not have enough supporting facilities.15
 
B. Promoting the legalization of work in persons with disabilities
 
The report to the 19th CPC National Congress embodies the concept of people-centered development, puts forward the idea of human rights protection based on rule of law, regards satisfying the people’s growing needs for a better life as the basic goal of national development, and clarifies the task of “developing the cause of the persons with disabilities and strengthening rehabilitation services.”
 
1. Strengthening State obligations for the protection of persons with disabilities
 
A country has the obligation to guarantee the basic rights of its citizens and to take more care of the weak. About 1 in 10 people in the world live with a disability, and a large part number of them also live in poverty. The UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is committed to promoting the improvement of human rights conditions for persons with disabilities, promoting the emergence of a barrier-free, reasonable and convenient society, integrating the generalities and particular-ities of the human rights of persons with disabilities, and vigorously upholding human rights culture. China is an active participant in the international work on persons with disabilities. The protection of the rights of persons with disabilities has always been regarded as an important task of the Chinese government. A protection system from the central government to communities has been formed with legal protection, sound mechanism and active social participation.
 
2. Rehabilitation-centered idea facing new challenges
 
In the past, China’s system of protection for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities emphasized the “particularities” of rehabilitation functions and education for persons with disabilities and played an active role in special historical periods. However, with the changes in the concept of persons with disabilities, if we overem-phasize the role of rehabilitation, their diverse needs may be ignored. Therefore, we should adopt multiple means and respect their right of choice.
 
3. Technological development bringing uncertainties and new risks to the protection of persons with disabilities
 
Technological development has a profound impact on the lives of human beings. Even the dignity of humans is at risk of being marginalized. Faced with rapid scientific and technological development, we must remain open and rational, and neither blindly worship science and technology nor rashly apply them to the lives of persons with disabilities. The irrational use of science and technologywill lead to new inequalities, keeping the persons with disabilities away from spiritual communication, and making them lose emotional support.
 
Technology is a double-edged sword. Instead of blindly praising the progress of science and technology, the question we need to consider is how to prevent the indifference to human dignity brought by their irrationality. How will the development of science and technology change human perception of disabilities? Will the rapid development of new technologies, including breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, support or harm the core values of the disabled? How to effectively and reasonably use technologies to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities, prevent possible negative impacts, and promote human progress in other areas such as the gap between rich and poor, social equity and food safety? The corresponding mission of rule of law is to eliminate the irrationality of science and technology, guard the dignity of people, make people become subjects with dignity and the masters of technology, and safeguard the great values of human civilization.
 
4. Transformation from special protection to equal protection
 
It is the mission of rule of law to protect persons with disabilities equally and to allow everyone to enjoy dignity, freedom and equality. The concept of a disabled person is changing and the appellation is also changing, but the fundamental problem is not changes in form, but making disability protection system is more civilized and humane. Persons with disabilities are equal members of the human family. The government cares about this group to fulfill its constitutional obligations. Therefore, in the protection ofrights and interests of persons with disabilities, we should strengthen the concept of equality for all people, care for each other, support each other, and respect the choices of persons with disabilities instead of resting on fatherhood”loving and caring”. The core of protecting the rights of persons with disabilities lies in eliminat-ing social exclusion and achieving social openness.16
 
5. Transformation from individual model to social model
 
With the introduction and implementation of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities based on the social model of persons with disabilities and the principle of human rights in different countries, the social model for persons with disabilities is gradually changing. At present, in the protection of persons with disabilities, individual model still has some market value, which has caused obstacles to the realization of inclusive education. The individual model emphasizes the individual tragedy of persons with disabilities and sees disability as an individual “defect” and an abnormal state. In contrast, the social model considers disabilities as the combined result of functional limitations and social environment, which easily leads to the unnecessary isolation and marginalization of persons with disabilities as a group.17 The answer to protection of the disabled should lie in comprehensive social system.We should take the disabled as the center, respect and understand their characteristics and needs, ensure equal opportunities for them to enjoy an independent and dignified life, guarantee their right to express, and promote an inclusive society that is beneficial to everyone. The document promulgated by the State Council in September 2017 on the implementation of inclusive education made inclusive education a national will and was conducive to gradually change the concept of “special education”and introduce new concepts of protection for persons with disabilities.
 
6. Universitiesand colleges should actively undertake the academic mission of promoting the work on persons with disabilities
 
In the process of legalizing the protection of persons with disabilities, universities and colleges must actively play their role in and fulfill their mission of promoting human rights and humanitarianism. For example, the Law School of Renmin University of China has been actively conducting education and researches on persons with disabilities based on social responsibility. It joined hands with Harvard University Disability Services to actively explore education on laws concerning the disabled by formally establishing a course system for the protection of persons with disabilities’ rights and interests, compiling teaching materials for students with disabilities, setting up orientation for graduate students, offering clinics education for persons with disabilities, conducting international training programs for social and government departments, and jointly offering remote video courses for persons with disabilities. Through developing the curriculum system, laws on disabilities are actually taught as an independent, systematic legal department, rather than an insignificant part of other courses. This will not only help train talents in laws on disabilities, but also help cultivate students’ awareness of human rights and create a good human rights culture.
 
(Translated by CHEN Yunqing)
 
* HAN Dayuan ( 韩大元 ), Director of Human Rights Research Center, Professor of Law School, Renmin University.
 
1. Han Dayuan, The Constitutional Logic of the Right to Life (Nanjing: Yilin Press, 2012), 102-108.
 
2. Ding Zaixian, Eastern Yi Culture and Shandong: Research and Explanation  of  Bone Carving Characters
(Beijing: Chinese Literature and History Press, 2012), 690-711.
 
3. Hu Shi, “Human Rights and Covenants,” in Essays on Human Rights, ed. Hu Shi et al. (Changchun: Jilin Uni-versity Press, 2009), 1-13.
 
4. Liang Shuming, The Complete Works of Liang Shuming, vol. 3 (Jinan: Shandong People’s Publishing House, 1992), 180-189.
 
5. Han Xiaorong, “Persons with disabilities Account for 15% of Total World Population, with 600 Million in Asia and 85 Million in China,” The Paper, December 4, 2015.
 
6. “Report of NPC Committee for Internal and Judicial Affairs on Post-legislation Evaluation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Disabled Persons,” accessed December 25, 2017, http:// www.npc.gov.cn/npc/xinwen/2012-08/30/content_1735375.htm.
 
7. Statistical Communique on the Development of the Work on China’s Disabled Persons in 2016, [Can Lian No. 15 (2017)].
 
8. Reporter group of Disability in China, “Protection of the Rights and Interests of Disabled People Since the 18th CPC National Congress”, published in chinadp.net.cn, accessed on December 26, 2017 http://www.chinadp. net.cn/news_/19da/2017-10/17-16489.html.
 
9. Statistical Communique on the Development of the Work on China’s Disabled Persons in 2016, [Can Lian No. 15 (2017)].
 
10. Ibid.
 
11. Statistical Communique on the Development of the Work on China’s Disabled Persons in 2016, [Can Lian No. 15 (2017)].
 
12. Statistical Communique on the Development of the Work on China’s Disabled Persons in 2015, [Can Lian Fa No. 14 (2016)].
 
13. Statistical Communique on the Development of the Work on China’s Disabled Persons in 2016, [Can Lian No. 15 (2017)].
 
14. Cheng Kai, “Tentative Analysis of Social Security Issues for Disabled People in China,” Red Flag Manu-script 7 (2006 ): 23-25.
 
15. Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development: such problems as incomplete coverage still exist in barrier-free facilities, published in chinanews.com, accessed January 3, 2018, http://www.chi-nanews.t/m/ gn/2015/08-03/7443851.shtml.
 
16. Cai He and Zhou Linngang, “Eliminating social exclusion and realizing social openness,” in Research on Social Security for Persons with Disabilities, ed. Guangzhou Association of Social Science Societies and Guangzhou Disabled Persons’ Federation (Guangzhou: Guangdong People’s Publishing House, 2004), 52-65.
 
17. Xie Yan, Cai Cong and Fu Gaoshan, 2014-2015 Annual Observation Report: Disability in China (Beijing: China Yan Shi Press, 2016), 31-82.
 
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