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Parasports development hailed for boosting rights
September 15,2021   By:China Daily
Sept. 15, 2021 -- The development of parasports constitutes an important element in the high-quality development of the cause of people with disabilities and also protects their human rights, according to a leading expert.
 
Zhang Wanhong, a law professor at Wuhan University, Hubei province, said people with disabilities enjoy all basic rights equally, including the right to participate in cultural pastimes, leisure and recreational activities and sports.
 
The expert, who is also executive director of Wuhan University's Human Rights Research Institute, said protecting and enriching the sporting lives of disabled people helps improve their health, is in line with the concept of public health and promotes the right to equal health.
 
The development of sports competitions offers disabled people a platform to display their talents and achieve personal goals. It can also help create an atmosphere of integration, raise public awareness to eliminate discrimination and ensure that people with disabilities enjoy an equal right to participate in social gatherings on a broader scale, he added.
 
The central government has made great efforts to promote parasports. Last month, the State Council, China's Cabinet, rolled out an extensive mass fitness program in a bid to improve public health, with one of the main focuses being the provision of mass fitness activities for people with disabilities.
 
Authorities have also conducted wide-ranging scientific research and education on parasports and facilitating major sporting events for the disabled at home and abroad, including the Paralympic Games, the Special Olympics and the Deaflympics.
 
With regard to laws and regulations, Zhang said the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons clearly provides for specific measures to be undertaken by governments at all levels and by society to enrich disabled people's cultural and sporting lives.
 
The Law on Physical Culture and Sports stipulates that society as a whole should care for and support the participation of disabled people in sporting activities. Moreover, the Public Cultural Service Guarantee Law, enacted in 2016, stipulates that governments at all levels should provide public cultural services according to the needs of the disabled community.
 
Zhang said the central government should continue to improve access for disabled people at sporting venues and maintain support for public services. Nonprofit organizations are also encouraged to provide a range of sporting activities to boost public participation and integration as a way of balancing sports in competitions and those played by people in general.
 
"The development of parasports is flourishing in China, and it is an important part of the high-quality development of the cause for disabled people as a whole," he said.
 
"Equal participation in sports and cultural activities is indispensable in allowing disabled people to enjoy happy lives. The development of parasports promotes the values of equality and social integration. It also fosters respect for the diversity of human physical and mental abilities as well as individual potential."
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