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Human Rights Law Institute of Huazhong University of Science and Technology
May 24,2021   By:
China’s Constitution states clearly that "The state respects and protects human rights." The principle of human rights protection is also enshrined in the constitution of the Communist Party of China. Strengthening the protection of human rights and the rule of law is key to perfecting the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and advancing the modernization of the national governance system and capabilities in the new era. The National Human Rights Action Plan calls for strengthening human rights education and building a national human rights education and training base. 
 
The Human Rights Law Institute of Huazhong University of Science and Technology aims to strengthen human rights theoretical research, improve human rights education and training, promote international human rights exchanges and cooperation, and contribute to the development of socialist human rights with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
 
Huazhong University of Science and Technology is a key comprehensive university directly under the Ministry of Education. It is also one of the first batch of key universities under the “211 Project”, “985 Project” and “Double First Class” in the country. Among them, the social sciences ESI discipline ranks in the top 1% of the world, the national colleges rank 9th, and the citation rate of papers ranks in the top 6 colleges in the country. The Human Rights Law Institute is an interdisciplinary and innovative university-level platform to pool research resources of various schools of the university, such as the School of Marxism, the School of Sociology, the College of Public Administration, the School of Economics, the School of Journalism and Information Communication, the School of Education, the School of Philosophy, the School of Humanities, the School of Public Health, the School of Medicine and Health Management, the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, the School of Cyber Science and Engineering, and the School of Artificial Intelligence and Automation.
 
Human rights research at Huazhong University of Science and Technology dates back to the 1950s. After returning to China from Harvard University, the founder of World Development Economics, Mr. Zhang Peigang joined the university. For more than 50 years, he had taught courses on poverty reduction and balanced development. He is the first in the country to focus on the development of industrial modernization. In 2006, human rights courses were opened for graduate students. In March 2019, the university decided to establish the Human Rights Law Institute. In June 2019, the European Research Center of the Human Rights Law Institute was established in Austria. The leadership of the Institute includes an administrator of the university and the dean of the School of Law. The Institute attracts distinguished professors like Mr. Wang Xigen, a senior UN expert on the right to development.
 
As an interdisciplinary research platform, the Institute has 20 full-time researchers and more than 60 part-time researchers. They include: UN advisory experts on the right to development, Distinguished Professors of the Yangtze River Scholars of the Ministry of Education, National Philosophy and Social Science Leading Talents of the National Ten-Thousand-Talent Plan, Four Groups of Cultural Masters from the Central Government, Ministry of Education Outstanding Talents, the top ten outstanding young jurists in the country, and international experts from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs. It has an average annual funding of more than 1 million yuan.
 
The Institute has created several feature laboratories focused on the study of  socialist human rights with Chinese characteristics, the right to development, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, civil political rights, technological innovation and human rights, and public health and human rights. 
 
In recent years, researchers of the Institute have published more than 70 books. More than 500 papers have been published on national newspapers such as the People’s Daily and Guangming Daily. A number of high-level human rights papers have also been published by top international  journals such as Nature. The landmark achievements have won more than 50 awards above the provincial and ministerial level. The Institute has actively participated in the policy-making and legal consulting activities of governments at various levels as well as international organizations, submitting more than 100 reports.
 
On education and training, the Institute has formed a comprehensive human rights education system. It has two experts from the National Textbook Committee, who have participated in the preparation, review and revision of the human rights parts in the Marxist Theoretical Research and Construction Project Textbook, the Ministry of Education ’s Core Curriculum Materials for the 21st century and leading official training materials. It has enrolled master and PHD candidates in human rights law. Researchers were invited by the central and local governments and various sectors of the society to hold lectures on human rights.
 
The Institute has actively participated in the decision-making process of the Chinese government and the United Nations and other international organizations to serve the country's major strategic needs. In the past three years, it has provided more than 100 decision-making suggestions to the central and local governments and more than 10 suggestions to the United Nations, which were adopted by the United Nations and included in official United Nations documents. Experts from the Institute were invited to participate in meetings of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and directly participated in the drafting of the United Nations "Right to Development Standards and Sub-implementation Standards", the United Nations "Right to Development Convention", and the annual report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development. In China, entrusted by the Human Rights Bureau of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, it was responsible for leading the drafting work of national human rights documents such as the White Paper on China ’s Right to Development and the White Paper on the Development and Progress of China ’s Human Rights Cause in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up.
 
The Institute has established close cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council and participated in UN human rights activities. It has established extensive cooperative relations with universities and research institutions in dozens of countries around the world. It has successively hosted the "2019 China-Europe Human Rights Seminar(Vienna) " organized by the China Society for Human Rights Studies and the Austrian-Chinese Friendship Association. The Institute also got involved in international human rights activities, such as the Sustainable Development Agenda, and the UN Human Rights Exhibition themed "Development of China's Human Rights Cause in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up."
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