Macao's human rights cause progressing

By Fan Junmei
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, November 3, 2009
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Macao's society and economy has made significant progress during the past decade, and the human rights of the people of Macao have been protected and improved, according to Tong Io Cheng, director of the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies of University of Macao and a member of the Macao Law Reform Advisory Committee.

Cheng made the remarks at the second Beijing Forum on Human Rights that opened on November 2, 2009. He said that ever since Macao's return to China, the Basic Law has provided for a wide range of protection on human rights, including the right to residence, the right to equality and the right to vote. Macao's economy had been shrinking and suffered negative growth successively over the few years before its return, said Cheng. But, after its return, with the support of the central government and the efforts of the government of Macao Special Administrative Region, Macao's society and economy has made great progress. Now, it has become one of the richest regions in the world, and its human rights cause has also achieved a lot.

Cheng shared the accomplishments in this field with the participants:

— In Macao, human rights can be protected and realized through both the quasi-judicial and non-judicial systems.

— Since its return, the Human Rights Convention, also observed in Macao, has been widely popularized.

— The Macao Labor and Employment Department has been improving its assistance and service for job hunters since 2000. The government also actively organized activities to facilitate training and employment for the disabled, benefiting many of them since Macao's return.

— In regard to the realization of gender equality and creation of fair and decent working conditions, the existing systems in Macao can provide adequate protection.

— The Macao government has been constantly allocating enormous resources to social security projects.

— Macao never gives up providing support to the vulnerable groups in order to protect their access to appropriate housing. The social housing estates under planning will reserve resources for senior citizens, which reflects the governmental long-term development strategy of taking care of the elderly.

— In regard to health policy, Macao has basically fulfilled its goal of free medical care.

— In regard to personal privacy protection, Macao established the Personal Data Protection Act through legislative means and set up a dedicated Personal Privacy Office to manage relevant issues of human rights protection.

— The 1991 Census showed that the proportion of those with higher education in Macao was 4.4 percent. The figure rose to 7.4 percent a decade later according to the 2001 Census.

— Its human development index has been lifted from 0.867 in 1999 to 0.930 in 2005.

Obviously, Macao is progressing with its human rights protection system constantly advancing. "We have every reason to bet on a better future," said Cheng.

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