Concluding Observations for China's 3rd and 4th Periodic Reports


Below is a short summary of the key issues from the CRC's 64th session Concluding Observations for China. Click on the link above for the full text, and here for the alternative reports submitted by NGOs and the CRC's Concluding Observations for other States it reviewed.


Independent monitoring: The Committee is concerned about the lack of independent national human rights institutions with a clear mandate to monitor children’s rights in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR.

Cooperation with civil society: The Committee is deeply concerned about the obstacles faced by NGOs and the limited scope for human rights defenders and journalists to report, inter alia, on children’s rights violations in mainland China. The Committee strongly recommends that mainland China take immediate action to allow civil society to investigate and report on human rights violations and exercise their right to freedom of expression and opinion without any form of threats, harassment or repercussions.

Click here for the UN’s press release on reprisals against human rights defenders in China.

Click here for CRIN’s transparency campaign.

Administration of juvenile justice: The Committee is deeply concerned about the continued application of administrative detention of children, including RTL (Labour Programme ) and ‘Work Study Schools’ (gongdu xuexiao).

Click here for a report on creating a non-violent juvenile justice system, and here for our child-friendly justice toolkit.

Violence against children: The Committee is deeply concerned about the frequently reported practice of torture and ill-treatment of children from certain religious and ethnic groups in mainland China for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of religion, assembly and expression. The Committee is also seriously concerned about the high prevalence of sexual exploitation and abuse against children.

Infanticide: The Committee is concerned that infanticide, particularly of girls and children with disabilities, remains pervasive, a problem which is exacerbated by mainland China’s ‘One-Child Policy.’

Self- immolations by Tibetan children: The Committee is deeply disturbed by an alarming escalation of self-immolations by Tibetan children and the failure of the State party to prevent such loss of life by addressing the deep underlying causes and long-standing grievances of Tibetans. It is further concerned about reports of detention and imprisonment of Tibetan children accused of ‘inciting‘ self-immolations, and of harassment and intimidation of families of victims, which could exacerbate the situation and lead to more self-immolations.

Child sex tourism: The Committee is also concerned that child sex tourism remains a serious problem in Macau SAR and that alleged complicity of government officials in trafficking and sexual exploitation related offenses has led to impunity for such crimes.

Non-discrimination: The Committee urges mainland China to take immediate actions to eliminate policies, practices and security measures that disproportionately affect or discriminate against Tibetan and Uyghur children and children of Falun Gong practitioners. It further recommends that mainland China identify and eliminate all forms of discrimination against children with disabilities, children of migrant workers, refugee and asylum-seeking children and children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Standard of living: The Committee is concerned about the housing conditions in certain poor areas. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about the increasing child poverty in mainland China and Hong Kong SAR and that children of migrants, children of ethnic minorities and asylum seeking children are disproportionately represented among the poor and live below the poverty line.

Right to education: The Committee is concerned about the increasing disparities in access to and availability of education for children living in rural areas. It is also seriously concerned about the reports of official harassment and forced closure of privately run schools for migrant children in areas where they have little or no access to the state school system.

Birth registration / Name and nationality: The Committee is concerned that the rate of birth registration is low in poor and remote areas of mainland China and among girls, migrant children, adopted children, and children born outside of locally ‘sanctioned’ family size.

Children deprived of a family environment: The Committee is seriously concerned about the widespread abandonment of children in mainland China, particularly children with disabilities and girls, mainly due to its family planning policy and discrimination and stigma attached to children with disabilities and girls.

Adoption: The Committee is deeply concerned that thousands of children are estimated to be abducted, trafficked and sold every year, including for illegal adoption purposes. It is particularly concerned about reports that some family planning officials coerce parents to give up their children born in excess of their parents’ birth quotas, and sell and transfer children into the care of local orphanages.

Children with disabilities: The Committee notes with concern that the State party continues to adopt a medical approach to disability and the services for children with disabilities are centred mostly on institutions for physical ‘rehabilitation’. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of screening programmes for early detection of disabilities in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR.

Right to health: The Committee is deeply concerned about unsafe vaccinations and blood transfusion, which have resulted in deaths, HIV infection and serious illness or disability of thousands of children across mainland China. The Committee also remains concerned about the limited access and long waiting periods to mental health services available for children in mainland China and Hong Kong SAR.

Reproductive rights: The Committee is disturbed by reports of forced sterilisation and abortions in mainland China targeting, among others, teenage girls, carried out by local family planning officials in the context of implementation of mainland China's ‘One-Child Policy,’ practices which contravene the fundamental principles and provisions in the Convention.

Read more about children’s right health and reproductive rights in CRIN’s submission for the 2013 Human Rights Council’s Annual day on the Rights of the Child on the right to health.

Asylum-seeking and refugee children: The Committee is particularly concerned that children entering mainland China from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are still categorically considered as economic migrants and returned to the DPRK without consideration of whether there are risks of irreparable harm to the children upon return; it is concerned about the lack of special care and protection for asylum seeking children upon their arrival. 

Click here for a news story concerning nine young defectors from the DPRK in China.

Children’s rights and the business sector: The Committee is deeply concerned about the incidence and prevalence of lead poisoning of children in mainland China and the lack of remedial solutions for the affected children and their families, reports of threats against individuals seeking treatment and information, and refusal to provide appropriate treatment for the affected children. The Committee recommends that mainland China immediately carries out a nationwide, publicly accessible, assessment to determine the extent of lead poisoning affecting children and communities across the country; design a comprehensive public health strategy and monitor the implementation of the regulatory framework.

Click here for the Committee’s General Comment No. 16 on children’s rights business.




Please note that these reports were submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. They are hosted by Child Rights Connect and CRIN and the author's permission has been obtained for all reports listed. However, unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of either organisation and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by Child Rights Connect or CRIN.