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Confronting Discrimination and Inequality in China

Chinese and Canadian Perspectives

Edited by Errol P. Mendes and Sakunthala Srighanthan

Publication Year: 2009

Confronting Discrimination and Inequality in China focuses on the most challenging areas of discrimination and inequality in China, including discrimination faced by HIV/AIDS afflicted individuals, rural populations, migrant workers, women, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities. The Canadian contributors offer rich regional, national, and international perspectives on how constitutions, laws, policies, and practices, both in Canada and in other parts of the world, battle discrimination and the conflicts that rise out of it. The Chinese contributors include some of the most independent-minded scholars and practitioners in China. Their assessments of the challenges facing China in the areas of discrimination and inequality not only attest to their personal courage and intellectual freedom but also add an important perspective on this emerging superpower.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vii

List of Contributors

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pp. viii-xiv

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pp. xv

The essays by Chinese authors in this book are significant for demonstrating the diversity of thinking and independence of thought displayed by some academics in China today; they are consequently of great importance in fostering intercultural dialogue and supportive engagement with the leading members of Chinese civil society. They are also important for providing a lens through which an English-speaking ...

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pp. xvi

This publication is a result of extensive grassroots research conducted as part of a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded project, implemented by a joint partnership of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law, and the Peking University's Research Centre for Human Rights. The editors would like to acknowledge with gratitude the funding provided by the CIDA which ...

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pp. 1-14

This book is the result of three years of research and dialogue between leading intellectuals from China and Canada, organized by the Research Centre for Human Rights of Peking University and the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa. The results of this research and dialogue, contained in this book, focus on the overwhelming social challenges and the discrimination against certain sectors of the population that face...


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Chapter One: Prosperity at the Expense of Equality: Migrant Workers are Falling Behind in Urban Chinas Rise

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pp. 16-29

In rapidly modernizing China, one of the major population groups that is not getting ahead is the huge army of 130 million migrant workers. China's booming cities are very impressive: new skyscrapers, new apartment high rises, new roads, and ever-improving services and marketplaces. But without migrant workers, none of these are possible. Yet,migrant workers get low wages, work long hours, live in inferior ...

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Chapter Two: The Historical Causes of Chinas Dual Social Structure

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pp. 30-69

After the end of the Cold War, western countries shifted their focus to the human rights situation in China. Despite this scrutiny, discrimination against the majority of the country's population - farmers - failed to elicit widespread concern. Discrimination against farmers continues to constitute one of the most fundamental social issues in China. In fact, China's unique dual social structure provides the institutional ...

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Chapter Three: Restoring Private Ownership of Rural Lands to Safeguard the Basic Rights of Farmers

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pp. 70-98

The reform of the system of land ownership in China's rural areas is one of the most controversial topics at present. Among other things, the debate focuses on the issue of who owns the land, with a view to promoting and enhancing productivity in rural areas; maintaining the security of the agricultural economy; avoiding political risks and protecting social stability; etc. However, both sides of the debate ...

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Chapter Four: Changing the Policy Paradigm on Chinese Migrant Workers: Towards Balanced Urban and Rural Development, People-Orientation, Equal Treatment and Consultative Management

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pp. 99-128

The exodus of the rural labour force to work in the non-agricultural industries of cities and towns, part of China's process of reform and opening-up (gaige kaifang) and industrialization, has engendered a large new social group called the "migrant workers." The effects of the previous planned economy, its system of urban-rural segregation and ideologies that emphasized economic growth rather than ...

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Chapter Five: Chinese Farmers' Right of Access to Judicial Relief: An Investigative Report into Forest Land Expropriation Claims by Hebei Farmer Wen Shengcun

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pp. 129-148

Having played an important role in the founding of New China, farmers are crowned with a noble and impressive political designation and hailed as the pivot of the current regime and a pillar of strength. In reality, however, the political rights accorded to farmers do not correspond with their nobility as portrayed in official ideology. To examine in detail the current state of the various ...

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Chapter Six: China's War on its Environment and Farmers' Rights: A Study of Shanxi Province

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pp. 149-184

Since the 1980s, rapid industrialization in China has given birth to two dramatic events. One is the double digit average annual economic growth rate that has lasted for more than twenty years, and which has transformed what was a predominantly agricultural society into the 21st century's "workshop of the world' The second is the unprecedented speed and scale of ecological destruction and environment pollution ...


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Chapter Seven: The Gendered Reality of Migrant Workers in Globalizing China

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pp. 186-207

According to a survey by the Development Research Centre of the State Councilpublished in April 2006, there are 200 million rural migrants who are working andliving in urban areas, 120 million of whom work in China's cities and another 80million in smaller towns.1 All of them have left low paying farm life, and they now make up 68 percent of the employees in the manufacturing sector and 80 percent in...

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Chapter Eight: An Analysis of Rural Women's Entitlements to Land and Other Property

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pp. 208-231

The research presented here is on rural women's entitlement to land and related properties. The target and goals of this research are: (1) to understand the real situation, to identify the major problems, and to discover the prevalence of and the reasons for these problems; (2) to understand how relevant laws and policies are implemented, and how effective they are at resolving the problems; (3) to understand rural women's...

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Chapter Nine: Systemic Discrimination and Gender Inequality: A Life Cycle Approach to Girls' and Women's Rights

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pp. 232-243

Today's girl child is tomorrow's older woman worker, and it is her opportunities and experiences now that will shape her ability to obtain and maintain decent work throughout her adult life, and enjoy security and protection in her old age. If girls, compared to boys, face negative cultural attitudes and practices and discrimination from birth, they will grow up to be women with greater constraints ...


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Chapter Ten: A Study of the Legislative Inhibition of Discrimination on the Basis of Disability

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pp. 246-273

Discrimination is usually defined as a person or group being treated differently (usually worse) than others. Chinese1 and English2 language interpretations of discrimination are basically similar. Discrimination is a prejudice by its very nature. Although there may be different reasons for discriminatory behaviour, a commonality exists: the party who prejudicesfeels psychologically superior, so much so that it leads to ...


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Chapter Eleven: The Application of International and Regional Instruments to HIV-Related Discrimination in China and Southeast Asia

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pp. 293-308

The purpose of this study is to examine selected international and regionalinstruments endorsed by China and ASEAN member countries1 relevant to HIV-related discrimination.2 Recommendations are then made as to how to strengthen the role of international and regional instruments in national responses to HIV-related ...

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Chapter Twelve: Gender and HIV/AIDS: Understanding and Addressing Stigma and Discrimination Among Women and Girls

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pp. 309-328

Stephen Lewis has been among the most prominent and impassioned personalities in the campaign to raise awareness of the role of gender in the HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly in the latter half of his tenure as UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. His efforts complement the work of researchers, decision makers, advocates, and service providers from around the world who have laboured for more than a decade ...

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Chapter Thirteen: Promoting the Right to Education for AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC): A Study on Anti-Discrimination

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pp. 312-361

According to the Protocol for the Identification of Discrimination against People Living with HIV (2000) by UNAIDS,1 "HIV/AIDS related discrimination" is defined as "[a]ny measure entailing an arbitrary distinction among persons depending on their confirmed or suspected HIV serostatus or state of health." The study included three categories ofAIDS-afflicted children: HIV-infected children, children orphaned ...

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Chapter Fourteen: The State of Life and Survival Strategies of AIDS-Infected Rural Women: An Analysis Based on Field Investigations in Selected Areas of Henan

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pp. 362-394

There is a special group of persons living with AIDS in China. They are farmers in Henan Province who contracted AIDS from selling blood. They are special because: firstly,nearly all of them are farmers; secondly, their infection is connected with government behaviour; thirdly, a blood-borne AIDS infection of such a large scale is rare anywhere in the world. There is yet another neglected group within this special ...


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Chapter Fifteen: The Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms: A Global Template for Minority Rights?

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pp. 396-404

The rights of minorities are an arena that is becoming perhaps the principal battle ground for human rights in the 21st century. Recent history would seem to offer a stunning paradox: that the federal state may not be the best form of human governance for societies with multi-ethnic populations.The former Soviet Bloc had nine states, six of which were unitary states while three were federal in structure. With ...

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Chapter Sixteen: Indigenous Peoples and Hunting Rights

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pp. 405-421

The incorporation of indigenous hunter-gatherer peoples and their territories into modern nation-states, historically without their informed consent, has long provided human rights challenges to states and local communities. In the evolving international human rights regime, it has been slowly recognized that indigenous peoples have inherent rights due to their presence on and use of their traditional territories prior to...

E-ISBN-13: 9780776617800
E-ISBN-10: 077661780X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776607092
Print-ISBN-10: 077660709X

Page Count: 438
Publication Year: 2009