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Human rights on students' agenda
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It will soon be easier for people in schools and government departments to learn more about their rights and how to protect them.

"Knowledge of the law and human rights will become part of school curriculum and civil servant training in the coming two years," said the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009 - 2010) issued by the State Council yesterday.

"It's the first time we are bringing human-rights education into schools and various departments in government," Xia Xueluan, a sociologist with Peking University, said yesterday.

There are still problems in human-rights protection, but the plan shows the government is trying to solve them, he said.

As the first working plan on human-rights protection, it aims to further protect and improve the condition of the country's human rights.

Schools will tutor students in the ideas of democracy, rule of law, freedom, equality, fairness and justice, as well as concepts about interpersonal relations, the plan said.

Sun Yuchun, a 29-year-old teacher in Xinyuanming vocational school, thought human-rights education would help more people know their rights, but what really matters is how to realize them.

"The improvement of the law is the permanent solution, which is a long-term process," Sun said.

It is hard for most teachers to tell what areas human rights cover, Sun Qintao, a 27-year-old English teacher from Jingbei vocational college, told China Daily, adding that he would like to find that out.

"Not until recently did I know that I have rights over my portrait and the right of life," he said.

Students themselves also want to learn more.

"It is important to let more students know their rights, but doing is always more important than speaking," Lan Yuhong, a 22-year-old student from Beijing Sports University, told China Daily.

Besides students, human rights education will also be carried out among civil servants, especially those working in public security agencies, procuratorates, courts, prisons and urban management, the plan said.

(China Daily April 14, 2009)

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