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As UN workshop opens in Beijing, Human Rights in China (HRIC) calls for the abolition of Reeducation Through Labor

February 23, 2001

On Monday February 26, the first activity in a program of technical cooperation between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chinese government on human rights will begin in Beijing, in the form of a workshop on the “punishment of minor crimes.”

On the occasion of this workshop, HRIC is issuing an analysis of Reeducation Through Labor (RTL) (see "Report" session on "Reeducation Through Labor (RTL): A summary of regulatory issues and concerns" at our website)one of the major forms of administrative detention used in China today.

Use of this arbitrary form of imprisonment which is in clear violation of international human rights standards has been on the rise in recent years. This paper looks at the regulatory structure, questionable legal status and use of this measure, as well as analyzing the domestic arguments for its “reform” or abolition.

HRIC believes that the international community must support those sectors of the legal community in China arguing for the outright abolition of this measure.

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