CECC Releases 2003 Annual Report on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China

Congressional-Executive Commission on China | www.cecc.gov

CECC Releases 2003 Annual Report on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China

October 2, 2003

(Washington, DC)—The Congressional-Executive Commission on China has released its 2003 Annual Report, which is now available on the Commission’s website – www.cecc.gov. The report spotlights inadequate protection of worker rights, repression of religious freedom, intolerance of political dissent, strict controls on media freedoms and the Internet, and a lack of autonomy for Tibetans and other ethnic minorities as primary areas of concern to the United States.  The Commission’s 22 members approved the report by a vote of 21-1.

“This document takes a hard look at current human rights conditions in China.” said Rep. James A. Leach, (R-IA), the Commission’s Chairman.  “Chinese government behavior violates China’s own laws and falls short of international stardards,” he said, adding, however, that “recent legal reforms in China may result over time in an improved human rights record.”

“This report is unique in that it not only catalogues China’s continuing human rights abuses, but also discusses the failings in the Chinese legal system that often permit those abuses,” said Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), the Commission’s Co-Chairman. 

The report’s 13 recommendations include calls for:

• Increased efforts to hold China to human rights commitments it made to the United States last December, especially the release of those arbitrarily detained, and unconditional invitations to the UN special Rapporteur on Torture and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
• Expanded programs to educate Chinese workers regarding their rights under Chinese law.
• Stepped-up U.S. efforts to ensure that goods made in Chinese prisons do not enter the United States.
• Additional funding for U.S. NGOs to develop programs that improve the health, education and economic conditions of Tibetans living in China.
• An unrestricted visit to China by the U.S. International Commission on Religious Freedom and the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance.

Congress created the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in 2000 to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China.  The Commission is made up of nine Senators, nine House members and five senior Administration officials appointed by President Bush. 

Contact:  Chris Billing, 202-226-3821, chris.billing@mail.house.gov