China an example for developing world to protect human rights by poverty reduction

By Yasir Habib Khan | Gwadar Pro Sep 1, 2022

China has already forged ahead in ensuring and protecting human rights by achieving the milestone on poverty reduction as the United Nations directly relate poverty alleviation as a yardstick to assess human rights standards.  

Since international organizations and rights groups hold that improving human rights is strongly correlated with reducing poverty, the world has to recognize that China's success in reducing poverty is the clearest indication of the country's superior human rights record.

The success of emerging as the vanguard of human rights has not come just by harping on lofty claims as the US and the West assert. Rather, China kept working with arduousness to provide basic necessities of life to people of all provinces and special regions of China, especially Xinjiang, and pulled more than 800 million people out of extreme poverty in the country.

Human rights are not the property of anyone. Making their standards and guidelines are also not prerogatives of any state, region or world. They belong to only those who uphold the supremacy of people by liberating the latter from worries of life’s essentialities, food, water, well-being, and other societal needs. 

The Chinese government has persisted in its efforts to end poverty, enhance people's wellbeing, and eventually achieve common prosperity during the past few decades. China has been taking a wide range of measures to combat poverty, by developing rural and agricultural infrastructure, assisting the poor population to earn more money, and offering public services like social security and health care, as well as services in education and culture. These actions show Chinese commitment towards the economic, social, and cultural rights of it’s citizens. 

The Chinese government has consistently worked to reduce poverty since the start of reform and opening up of market in the late 1970s. Chinese specialised institutions have successfully reduced poverty by selecting priority populations and geographic areas, allocating specialised funds, developing poverty standards and preferential policies tailored to China's national circumstances, and directing its policy of poverty alleviation through development. 

The Chinese government has implemented a number of medium- and long-term projects, such as the Seven-Year Program for lifting 80 Million People out of Poverty (1994-2000), the Outline for Development-Oriented Poverty Alleviation for China's Rural Areas (2001-2010), and the Outline for Development-Oriented Poverty Alleviation for China's Rural Areas (2011-2020).  

China declared in February 2021 that since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) founded the People's Republic in 1949, approximately 850 million people had been pulled out of poverty and that extreme poverty had been eradicated.  

Poverty reduction efforts are concentrated on the impoverished population in particular vulnerable groups such women, children, the elderly, the crippled, and racial and ethnic minorities. The Chinese government has prioritised these groups more in it’s policy initiatives since 2012 in order to successfully preserve their rights to social security, health care, education, and other services. The focus on the social welfare and protection of such susceptible groups speaks volumes of Chinese commitment to provide all the fundamental human rights to it’s vulnerable segment of population. 

The Chinese government has improved the protection of underprivileged women's rights. In order to safeguard the rights and interests of underprivileged women, the government has carried out the Program for the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020). With more than 2 million women trained in rural areas of China's central and western provinces, it has improved education and training for women in underprivileged areas. To help urban and rural women find work or launch enterprises, the government has launched the small-loan guarantee programme and a financial interest discount policy for women. Every year, the government runs a "two cancers screening" campaign for rural women that offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings to 10 million of them and 1.2 million of them, respectively.  

In order to carry out public welfare projects like "treating poor mothers with breast and cervical cancers," "affordable housing for mothers," and "mothers' health express," the central lottery public welfare fund provided RMB400 million between 2011 and 2015. As a result, it helped poor and ill single mothers and other women to improve their lives and their prospects for development. To further safeguard underprivileged women, the government has built and strengthened a new social assistance system. Across China, 71.22 million people in 2015 received relief and assistance to help those who were extremely poor.  

China continues to be a vocal supporter of efforts to reduce global poverty, as well as a devoted adherent and ardent champion of international human rights. China is dedicated to international exchanges and collaboration in the areas of poverty alleviation and human rights with developing nations and international organisations. In order to advance the vigorous development of the causes of poverty alleviation and human rights throughout the world, China is promoting the sharing of cutting-edge concepts and experience in these fields through a variety of channels, including foreign aid, project cooperation, technology transfer, and think-tank exchanges. 

The World Bank recognised China's outstanding achievement in eradicating extreme poverty. The eradication of extreme poverty is not the end of China's poverty reduction agenda in a larger sense, according to a 2022 World Bank report titled "Four Decades of Poverty Reduction in China." Report further elaborates that, through the implementation of its rural revitalization policy, the Chinese government has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining previous gains with the aim of delivering prosperity to both urban and rural areas and further integrating their separate economies. In light of this, it is likely that China's policy to combat poverty will continue to be development-focused and prioritise the creation of jobs and business opportunities over social welfare. 

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