Human Rights in China

Civil Liberties

The Chinese constitution guarantees civil liberties for its citizens. Chinese citizens are guaranteed the freedom of speech, press, and movement. In China, the freedom of speech only extends to certain levels.

For protests and other outspoken events, citizens must register for a permit with the government. Any mainstream freedom of speech is often revoked with government censorship through media outlets.

Another restriction of the freedom of speech coincides with independence. Citizens are not allowed to speak of independence from the country, for it is forbidden.

Recently, search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing have undergone censorship for the amount of searches relating to democracy and freedom. Other companies such as Skype are under current censorship in China as well.

The freedom of press is another civil liberty Chinese citizens obtain. The freedom to publish ones thoughts is encouraged, but two government-run practices and regulatory agencies monitor the press. The freedom of movement was once revoked by China. 

Rural workers were forced to remain in their locations; where as urban workers were forced to do the same. China revoked these laws, allowing workers to migrate to wherever desired.

With such abundant growth, the system lost its impact and goal, forcing the government to allow such movements.

Birth Control

China’s birth control policy only allows families to have one child. The system has been highly criticized as a communist, unreligious act and revokes a human’s right to procreate.

The main reasoning for such a policy is due to the population increases in China. A large problem thought to stem from such a unique policy is gender imbalance. There is currently a 118 to 100 male to female ratio in China.

In 2002, the policy was changed in order to allow rural Chinese citizens to have more than one child, but the policy still remains intact for urban dwellers. However, the control has slightly loosened in urban areas, allowing two children to be born, but this is not declared as an enacted law.

Capital Punishment

China ranks as one of the highest countries in the world for execution. Prior to 1983, China’s Supreme Court reviewed all death penalty cases, but after 1983 they were not required to.

In 2007, the law was reinstated that the Supreme Court of China must review all cases, due to the increasing amount of death sentences given. In China, 68 crimes are punishable by death, including some white-collar crimes.

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