Full Text: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2013

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Right to Development

China's economy was stable and improved in 2013, better benefiting the Chinese people. The material and cultural needs of the people have been better satisfied, and the Chinese people's right to development has been better guaranteed.

The people's living standards are steadily on the rise. In 2013 China maintained a GDP growth rate of 7.7 percent, which was relatively fast. The annual per capita net income for rural residents reached 8,896 yuan, up 9.3 percent in real terms; the annual per capita disposable income for urban residents was 26,955 yuan, an increase of 7 percent in real terms; and the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained at the low level of 2.6 percent. China's annual grain output in 2013 reached 601.935 million tons; the number of civil vehicle holding reached 137.41 million; the number of fixed phone lines was 266.99 million, and the number of mobile phone users increased by 116.96 million to 1,229.11 million. The number of domestic tours totaled 3.26 billion, and the number of trips abroad made by Chinese citizens reached 98.19 million, up 10.3 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over the previous year. Among them, the number of trips abroad for private purposes reached 91.97 million, an increase of 19.3 percent.

Employment is expanding through various channels. Despite great employment pressure, China adheres to the employment priority strategy, taking stable growth and ensuring employment as the threshold of a proper economic range, and creating more and better-quality jobs on the basis of development. China attaches great importance to the development of labor-intensive industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), private enterprises and service industries that can create more jobs. In 2013 some 13.1 million urban jobs were created, an increase of 440,000 over 2012, and the registered urban unemployment rate stayed at 4.1 percent, which was relatively low. The government also provided skills training. As many as 20.49 million people participated in vocational training with government subsidies in 2013, among whom 12.275 million participated in employment skills training, 2.082 million attended entrepreneurship training, 5.487 million took part in job skills upgrading training and 646,000 received other types of training. The number of laid-off workers receiving training reached 3.98 million. China endeavors to facilitate the transfer to non-agricultural jobs of rural people, organized more than 20,000 special job fairs for migrant workers in 2013, and trained 9.384 million farmers. The government attaches ever-more importance to the employment of young people, especially college graduates. Through employment guidance services, campus recruitment activities, the "Employment Promotion Plan for Unemployed College Graduates" and other measures, China encourages college graduates to find jobs and start businesses in various forms and through various channels.

The basic rights of workers are guaranteed. In 2013 a total of 27 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government) raised their minimum wage standards, averaging a 17 percent annual hike. The average monthly income of rural workers employed away from their homes was 2,609 yuan, an increase of 319 yuan over 2012. Community-level trade unions and organizations for safeguarding workers' rights continue to maintain a relatively rapid pace of development. By the end of 2013 the formation rate of labor dispute mediation organizations in townships and subdistricts had reached 60 percent, an increase of 10 percent year on year; the formation rate of labor dispute arbitration committees had reached 91.6 percent; and the rate of labor dispute arbitration courts nationwide was 72.7 percent, up 20 percent year on year. The number of community-level trade unions increased to 2.77 million, up 4 percent over 2012; a total of 1.298 million effective collective contracts were signed throughout the country, involving 3.64 million enterprises and 160 million employees, up 6 percent, 18 percent and 9 percent over 2012, respectively. Assistance to impoverished workers was strengthened, benefiting 7.739 million people in 2013.

The government-subsidized housing projects continue to make progress. In 2013 the central government appropriated 200.3 billion yuan to help facilitate the building of government-subsidized housing and the rebuilding of dilapidated areas in all regions, and the improvement of supporting infrastructure. In the same year, construction of 6.6 million government-subsidized housing units and housing units in dilapidated areas started, and 5.4 million were basically finished. By the end of the year China had provided housing for another 36 million urban families. Cities at prefectural level and above had all worked out the conditions, procedures and waiting rules for government-subsidized housing applications by migrant workers, and the government-subsidized housing system had expanded to cover not only households with permanent urban residency but all the resident population in urban areas. China continued to promote the renovation of rural housing, renovating 2.66 million dilapidated rural houses in 2013.

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