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The People’s Republic of China Ryan, Michelle, Stacia, Brandon, Adrianne General Background Information Government— Chinese Communist Party President—HU Jintao Vice President—ZENG Qinghong Size—Total: 9,596,960 sq km Population—1.3 billion people (22% of total world population)

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the people s republic of china

The People’s Republic of China

Ryan, Michelle, Stacia, Brandon, Adrianne


General Background Information

  • Government— Chinese Communist
  • Party President—HU Jintao
  • Vice President—ZENG Qinghong
  • Size—Total: 9,596,960 sq km
  • Population—1.3 billion people
  • (22% of total world population)
  • Disabled population— 83 million people
  • (6.34% of the total Chinese population)
communist government
Communist Government
  • After World War II, China established an autocratic socialist system.
  • Imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people.
  • After 1978, China focused on market-oriented economic development.
  • Living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded.
  • Political controls remain extremely tight.
china disabled persons federation
China Disabled Persons’ Federation
  • Aims:
    • Promote humanitarianism
    • Protect human rights
    • Ensure equal participation in society
    • Contribution to economic growth/social development
    • Equalize share in culture achievements
china disabled persons federation7
China Disabled Persons’ Federation
  • Tasks:
    • Unity and encouragement
    • Advocacy
    • Development and promotion
    • Prevention
    • Assisting the government
    • International cooperation
law of the people s republic of china on the protection of disabled persons
Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Disabled Persons
  • Adopted in 1990 at the Seventh National People’s Congress
  • Signed by President Yang Shangkun
  • Law implemented on May 15, 1991
  • Nine Total Chapters with a total of 54 articles
    • The Chinese equivalent to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
chinese disability law

Chapter IV – Employment

Article 27. [Responsibilities]

  • The state shall protect disabled persons right to work.
  • People’s governments at various levels shall formulate overall plans on employment of disabled persons and create conditions for their employment.
chinese disability law10

Article 28. [Guiding Principles]

  • Employment of disabled persons shall follow the principle of combining concentrative arrangement with dispersed arrangement.
  • Preferential policies and measures of support and protection shall be adopted with a view to gradually popularize, stabilize and rationalize employment of disabled persons through multiple channels, at a variety of levels and in a variety of forms
chinese disability law11

Article 29. [Concentrative Employment]

  • The state and society shall set up welfare enterprises for disabled persons, work-rehabilitation centres, Tuina-massage hospitals and clinics and other enterprises and institutions of a welfare nature as a way of providing concentrative employment for disabled persons.
chinese disability law12

Article 30. [Dispersed Employment]

  • The state shall promote the employment of disabled persons by various units.
  • State organizations, nongovernmental organizations, enterprises, institutions and urban and rural collective economic organizations should employ a certain proportion of disabled persons in appropriate types of jobs and posts.
  • The specific ratio may be determined by the people’s governments or provinces.
chinese disability law13

Article 31. [Self-employment]

  • The government when concerned shall encourage and assist disabled persons to obtain employment through voluntary organizations or to open individual business’s.
chinese disability law14

Article 32. [Rural Labour]

  • Local people’s governments at various levels and rural grassroots organizations shall organize and support disabled persons in rural areas to engage in farming, planting, animal breeding, handicraft industry and other forms of production.
chinese disability law15

Article 33. [Preferential Treatment and Assistance]

  • The state shall implement the policy of tax reduction or exemption in relation to welfare enterprises and institutions for disabled persons
  • Governments and departments when concerned shall determine the types of products suitable for production by disabled persons.
  • Governmental departments concerned shall determine a quota for the employment of disabled workers.
  • Departments concerned shall when issuing business licenses give priority to disabled persons
  • Departments concerned shall provide assistance for disabled persons engaged in various kinds of labour
chinese disability law16

Article 34. [Protection]

  • The state shall protect the property ownership and the managerial decision- making power of welfare enterprises and institutions for disabled persons
  • No discrimination shall be practiced against disabled persons in recruitment, employment, obtainment of permanent status, promotion, determining technical or professional titles, payment, welfare, labour insurance or in other aspects.
  • No enterprises or institutions shall deny graduates assigned by the state from institutions of higher learning solely on the ground of their disabilities
  • Enterprises and institutions where disabled persons work shall provide the disabled workers with appropriate working conditions and labour protection.
chinese disability law17

Article 35. [Training of Employees]

  • Enterprises and institutions where disabled persons work shall provide in-service technical training for disabled employees with the view to upgrade their skills and techniques.
problems with law of the prc on the protection of disabled persons
PROBLEMS with ‘Law of the PRC on the Protection of Disabled Persons’
  • Many argue that this is a perfect example of ‘soft law’
  • “The 1991 Law of the PRC on the Protection of Disabled Persons sets out a radical agenda for social equality and inclusion, although like many Chinese statutes it is long on general principles and short on detailed commitments”*
  • “The People’s government when concerned…”, allows for an arbitrary interpretation.
  • Many provisions are vague and lack significant meaning.
benefits of the law of the prc on the protection of disabled persons
BENEFITS of the ‘Law of the PRC on the Protection of Disabled Persons’
  • The employment rate of persons with disabilities rose from less than 50% in 1987 to 72 % in 1997
  • More than 1.5 million people with disabilities in China have been employed through quota systems
  • Although not perfect, it signifies a vast improvement due to the fact it was the country’s first such legislation with regards to disability.
american law
  • Disability discrimination cases have been evident since the early times.
  • The American School for the Deaf founded in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817 was the first step in upholding the rights of disabled individuals.
historical steps towards limiting employment discrimination under law
1940 -The American Federation of the Physically Handicapped, founded by Paul Strachan, was the first cross-disability national political organization to urge an end to job discrimination, lobby for passage of legislation, call for a National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week and other initiatives.

1947 -The President’s Committee on National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week was held in Washington, D.C. Publicity campaigns, coordinated by state and local committees, emphasized the competence of people with disabilities and used movie trailers, billboards, radio and television ads to convince the public that it was good business to hire the handicapped.

Historical Steps Towards Limiting Employment Discrimination Under Law
steps continued
  • 1964- The Civil Rights Act, signed by President Johnson, prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin and creed (gender was added later). This Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations and employment as well as in federally assisted programs.
  • 1986-The Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act was passed allowing recipients of Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance to retain benefits, particularly medical coverage, after they obtain work.
rehabilitation act 1973 section 501 and 504
Rehabilitation ACT 1973,Section 501 and 504
  • 501- Protects applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination in federal government agencies.
  • 504 - states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service.
americans with disabilities act ada
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • 1990- The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by George W. Bush. The Act provided comprehensive civil rights protection for people with disabilities.
  • Closely modeled after the Civil Rights Act and Section 504, the law was the most sweeping disability rights legislation in history.
  • (Title I/ V ) mandated that local, state and federal governments and programs be accessible, that businesses with more than 15 employees make “reasonable accommodations” for disabled workers and that public accommodations such as restaurants and stores make “reasonable modifications” to ensure access for disabled members of the public.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Civil Rights Act of 1991, (which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination).
  • EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.
the peoples voice through litigation
The Peoples Voice Through Litigation


  • Karen Sutton and Kimberly Hinton v. United Air Lines, INC.
  • US Airways v.  Barnett
  • Chevron V. Echazabal

These cases are ones in which our judicial system has narrowed the definition of who can make claims under the ADA and further defined terminology that may by broad and ambiguous. The outcomes in these instances may not be the favor of the plaintiff but they are still representative of the ability we have to voice our concerns in a legal manner.

employment and disability rights under the un

Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities

Adopted 13 December 2006

“This Convention is a remarkable and forward-looking document.  While it focuses on the rights and development of people with disabilities, it also speaks about our societies as a whole -- and about the need to enable every person to contribute to the best of their abilities and potential.”

convention on the rights of person with disabilities
Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities

Article 8 - Awareness-raising

  • A3 - To promote recognition of the skills, merits and abilities of persons with disabilities, and of their contributions to the workplace and the labour market
convention on the rights of person with disabilities29
Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities

Article 27 - Work and employment

  • States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others
  • Prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability with regard to all matters concerning all forms of employment
  • Protect the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to just and favourable conditions of work
  • Enable persons with disabilities to have effective access to training
  • Promote employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with disabilities
convention on the rights of person with disabilities30
Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities

Article 27 continued - Work and employment

  • Promote opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship, the development of cooperatives and starting one’s own business
  • Employ persons with disabilities in the public sector
  • Promote the employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector
  • Ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities in the workplace;
  • Promote the acquisition by persons with disabilities of work experience in the open labour market;
  • Promote vocational and professional rehabilitation, job retention and return-to-work programs for persons with disabilities.
un convention compared to china
UN Convention compared to China
  • Both the UN and China have laws that would be considered soft law.
  • Many provisions of the UN are also vague and lack significant meaning
  • China’s laws are very extensive and seem to cover areas similar to the UN. China puts a greater emphasis on preferential treatment of people with disabilities offering priority to those individuals seeking loans, products etc.
  • Chinese Law creates a quota system set by the proportion of people working in the market.

Communism and Disability:

Illusions of Equality


Law of the People's Republic of China onthe Protection of Disabled Persons (1990)

Article 52 [Administrative Punishment and Criminal Liability]:

.. Whoever refuses to perform his duty of fostering a disabled person who is unable to live independently, shall, if the circumstances are flagrant, or if he abandons such a disabled person, be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with the provisions of Article 183 of the Criminal Law.

Law of the People’s Republic of China on Crime

Article 183

Whoever refuses his proper duty to support an aged person, minor, sick person or any other person who cannot live independently, if the circumstances are flagrant, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention or public surveillance.


The affect of Communism on disability, seems to be far more progressive when compared to international laws. Society plays a much larger role, in responsibility of care for the individuals with disabilities; even to the extent that “society” specifically is mentioned in the text of the written laws. However, when taken into practice, there seems to be little found on actual implementation of the law.


Efforts have been made by the People’s Republic of China to identify strongly with the proletariat through elevating people with disabilities to hero status. For example, a blind peasant musician, Ah Bing, whose songs are now standard pieces in Chinese repertoire. Also, Tai Lihua, a deaf woman who dances with the China Disabled Person’s Art Troup. And Zhang Haidi, a woman who taught herself multiple languages and wrote papers. A prominent official was quoted as saying “"Learn from Zhang Haidi, be a Communist with revolutionary ideals, sound morals, good education and strong discipline!"


Possible Consequences:

Since it is each person’s responsibility to provide care for a person with disabilities, if they are so chosen, it is the case that the quality of the care could be less than standard.

Since the government maintains such rigid standards to freedom of speech, there is little recourse for citizen’s whose rights have not been upheld.

People who are not considered productive to society have no track, and thus are at risk of becoming lost in the system, or put to mundane tasks.

  • China has many lawful struggles, which may or may not be a result of a communist based society. For instance, the case of Chen Guangcheng…
  • Communism – ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless, social organization based on common ownership of the means of production
  • Irony – attributing tens of millions of deaths and other large-scale human rights abuses to the Communist regimes
  • “From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need”