The 2nd Sino-German Forum for the Development of Human Rights
Event: Society and Politics
For the second time, the Sino-German Forum for the Development of Human Rights provided Chinese and German academics with the opportunity to exchange ideas and enter in discussion about topics related to human rights in both countries. This year’s conference focused on the protection of women’s rights, children’s rights and the rights of people with disabilities.
The main conference was held on December 14th, 2017, and was jointly organized by the Chinese Foundation for Human Rights Development (CFHRD) and the FES Beijing Representative Office. The three German experts invited by the two partner organizations were Dr. Ulrike Spangenberg, Research Associate at Umea University and Co-founder of the Institute for Processes and Strategies to Further Gender Equality (GPS), Prof. Dr. Albert Scherr, Director of the Institute of Sociology at Freiburg University of Education, and Prof. Dr. Felix Welti, Professor for Social Justice and Rehabilitation at Kassel University. Chinese experts at the forum included researchers and professors from the Central Party School of the CCP, the Chinese Youth and Children Research Center, and Renmin University of China.
During the discussion, it became clear that there is great interest on both sides to understand the domestic legal framework, its origins and its effect on society. Regarding the protection of women’s rights, especially the implementation of CEDAW and laws to improve the compatibility of career and family were at the center of the discussion. With regard to the rights of people with disabilities, the definition of disability introduced in Germany in 2016, which is based on the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, sparked a lively debate among participants. While discussing children’s rights, the differences and similarities in the criminal justice system were subject to scrutiny on both sides. Chinese and German experts concluded that despite the significant progress both countries had achieved in improving the legal situation of women, children and of people with disabilities, more efforts are needed in order to further protect the rights of these vulnerable groups. Participants agreed that further exchange between Chinese and German experts could be beneficial in this regard.
In addition to the main conference, the German delegation held meetings with the Law Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Working Bureau of the National Working Committee for Children and Women, and the China Disabled Person’s Federation.