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Introduction to the Research Center For Human Rights At NWUPL
May 13,2021   By:
The Research Center for Human Rights at the Northwest University of Political Science and Law (NWUPL) was established in December 2019. It is a university-level research institution on the basis of the Institute of the Research Center for Human Rights at the NWUPL. To better serve the national strategic development, the center aims to promote the development of human rights in the northwest region of China, with a focus on in-depth theoretical studies on human rights. The center is committed to strengthening human rights education and training, protecting human rights protection, providing expert advice on human rights, and participating in international exchanges on human rights. The center’s distinctive fields of study include anti-terrorism, regional ethnic autonomy, protection of ethnic minorities’ rights in the northwest region, modernization of national governance, rule of law in human rights, as well as international human rights protection and cooperation.
 
Since its establishment, the research center has received great support from the provincial party committee, the government and the university. The center is headed by Professor Yang Zongke, the principal of the NWUPL. It consists of four provincial and ministerial bases, namely, the "Northwestern Region Social Stability and National Security Rule of Law Research Center", "Ethnic and Religious Research Institute", "Education Legislation Research Base", "International Law Research Center," and four university-level research institutions, namely, "the Human Rights Research Institute," "the Anti-Terrorism Research Institute," "the Silk Road Regional Cooperation and Development Law Research Institute" and "the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region Legal System Research Institute." With 35 researchers and 1 scientific research secretary, the center has five functional departments: the research department, the education and training department, the consultancy department, the international exchange department, and the office and information room which is responsible for daily administrative work.
 
Human rights research has a long tradition in the NWUPL. As early as February 1979, our senior professor Yan Cunsheng's thesis "Remembered from the slogan ‘Struggling for Human Rights’" was published in "Liberation Daily." It is the first article in the country to expound the Marxist view of human rights since the reform and opening up. The article has won high praise from the academic circles. In recent years, the school has made fruitful research results on human rights, with 50 of them submitted to the central Party and government agencies such as the Central Policy Research Office, the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Central Political and Legislative Committee, and the National Ethnic Affairs Commission. From 2004 to the end of 2019, the school undertook a total of 197 human rights-related scientific research projects at all levels and of various types, publishing 879 academic papers and 45 books related to human rights research. Nowadays, "Law Science" and "Human Rights Theory" sponsored by the NWUPL have become important theoretical platforms for human rights academic research. A series of books, papers and research reports have had international influence.
 
The NWUPL has always attached great importance to human rights education and talent training. Since 1991, under the guidance of the professors of NWUPL, students have written 1,377 master’s and doctoral dissertations on human rights theories and systems. More than 8,000 students have attended the courses related to human rights. In October 2018, after the Master of Laws in Human Rights was officially approved, the NWUPL has established a comprehensive talent training system in the legal protection for human rights. The center also regularly invites experts and scholars in the field of human rights both at home and abroad for visiting.
 
The center puts a high value on human rights training, and has carried out long-term human rights and rule of law training for the public security system, procuratorial system, court system, etc., publicizing the basic knowledge and concepts of human rights. In recent years, it has organized or undertaken more than 100 training courses on human rights knowledge and trained more than 8,700 people. Members of the center were invited to give 148 lectures on human rights to officials at or above the provincial and ministerial levels, social organizations, enterprises and institutions. and give special training on the protection of the rights and interests of defendants for more than 500 criminal defense lawyers from five provinces in northwest China. Through the national and local media, researchers of the center have also contributed to the popularization of human rights knowledge.
 
Members of the human rights research team of the NWUPL have transformed their research achievements into theoretical weapons to engage in various forms of human rights advocacy and international human rights movements, made China’s voice heard, and promoted China's human rights discourse. Since 2017, the NWUPL has sent members to the UN Human Rights Council every year. In June 2018, Professor Shu Hongshui attended the 38th session and made a keynote speech at the side meeting. In June 2019, Mrs. Wang Shuqi attended the 41st session and made speeches respectively on the protection of human rights in Xinjiang and protection of the rights of special groups. In December 2018, Professor Yang Zongke and Professor Qian Jinyu participated in the "Symposium on the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" organized by the China Society for Human Rights Studies and the China Foundation For Human Rights Development. In September 2018, Professor Zhu Jiping received an exclusive interview with CCTV, China’s state television, to express her views on the achievements in the protection of women's rights and interests in China. In December 2019, Professor Shu Hongshui also received an exclusive interview with CCTV news, and made a strong response to the "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019" by the US Senate. 
 
The center upholds patriotism in its education, adheres to the university’s motto-- Rigorous, Pragmatic, Civilized, Fair, and follows the guideline of "problem orientation, theoretical construction, going deep into the grassroots, empirical research and collaborative innovation". The center strives to build a high-end think-tank and education and training center for human rights in northwest China and make more contributions to the construction of the human rights theoretical and discourse systems with Chinese characteristics to promote human rights both in China and the world.
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