In this video policy brief Nicola Macbean from The Rights Practice considers the challenges of addressing human rights problems in China.
Too often human rights are treated as an expendable luxury rather than integral to everyday life. If we are to reinvigorate respect for human rights, she suggests we should make the mainstreaming of human rights across all areas of policy and practice a priority.
There is a very wide range of European organisations that engage with a country as important as China: from trade associations to business and finance to the police, universities, law firms and the cultural industries. Human rights feature little in their relations. A decision to mainstream human rights into their cooperation with China could change that.
Three steps come to mind. A human rights impact assessment to identify possible risks and opportunities in the relationship. Second, a commitment to promote the human rights principles of non-discrimination, respect for human dignity and the right to participate as part of their engagement with China. And third, ensuring transparency and accountability.