Previous evidence demonstrates that a public health crisis triggers and intensifies domestic violence, especially against women. The pandemic of COVID-19 supported this observation, as the world witnessed an increase in domestic violence. China has witnessed a similar trend. While the Chinese government is applying a stringent model of virus control measures over COVID-19 when compared to certain other countries, many questions remain: How is this impacting the situation of domestic violence in China? What has China done to combat domestic violence during COVID-19? What can we learn from the Chinese experience? This article intends to answer these questions by reviewing reports and media coverage and conducting interviews with stakeholders. First, it examines causes of domestic violence during COVID-19. Second, it analyses the types and features of domestic violence during COVID-19. Third, the article intends to discover the current difficulties in combatting domestic violence. Fourth, it presents good practices for specific local areas. Last, it concludes with recommendations for tackling domestic violence during public health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, by understanding the Chinese experience.
This article reviews social regulatory and redistributive policies in China that aim at fostering digital inclusion of persons with disabilities. We examine the emerging Chinese policies and how China has responded to the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on digital inclusion in terms of redistribution, market regulation, involvement of persons with disabilities and disabled people’s organizations (DPOs), and awareness-raising campaigns. The policy review demonstrates that the Chinese policy framework contains a few redistributive initiatives, for example, cash transfer programs, and free distribution of information and communications technology (ICT). These have the potential to increase the uptake of ICT among persons with disabilities. The Chinese policy framework also includes provisions to ensure consultation with individual persons with disabilities and DPOs in the deliberation and implementation of ICT accessibility policies. While China has initiated awareness-raising campaigns among market actors about the importance of digital inclusion, so far, the Chinese government has adopted little legal regulation of the market to foster accessibility to ICT. The article thus argues that some of the limitations may be due to the way state–market relations have developed since the economy opened up in 1978. Apart from the growing benefits of several cash transfer programs, we have not seen major changes or adjustments to the current policy framework during the efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on digital inclusion.
Barrier-free information construction has not been included in the information disclosure system for public emergencies in China. This makes it difficult for obstacle groups to obtain government information timely. By contrast, social forces, sign language videos and online accessible mini programs all give quick responds, which to some extent, bridge the information gap during the pandemic. This phenomenon is caused by the insufficient construction of information accessibility within the legal system, and the lack of popularization of accessibility concepts. The corresponding departments should improve the legal system of information accessibility by incorporating it into the information disclosure system for public emergencies in China. This will speed up the construction of modern public cultural service systems, promote the development of TV sign language hosting, and improve awareness of accessibility in science and technology to promote the design standards and principles of network accessibility and improve the dissemination of barrier-free information, hence meeting the information needs of barrier-free groups for major public emergencies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a chain of socioeconomic effects worldwide. China’s social and economic operations and labor market have also been suffered because of this global crisis. During hard times, flexible employment becomes an important means for stabilizing employment. However, the pandemic also exposed the problems ensuing from insufficient legal protection for flexible workers. First, there are some gaps and defects in the labor and social security laws in terms of their scope and applicability to flexible workers. Second, there were limitations in the support and protection policies for flexible workers at the early stages of the pandemic. Although the government implemented measures soon after the outbreak of COVID-19, their role is still constrained by the legal lacunae in protecting flexible workers. As flexible employment will continue to play a significant role in China’s labor market, the State Council issued a far-reaching official document in July 28, 2020 to support it. This document indicates the directions for providing better legal protection for flexible workers, which contains expanding the legal scope and enriching the legal protection. Based on the realities and latest policies, the legal protection for flexible workers should be systemically improved in the future.
The legal system for prevention and control of a public health crisis rests on two pillars: human rights protection and good governance. This duality is well illustrated by substantively equal treatment of vulnerable groups in a pandemic from the perspectives of public service, social inclusion, accessible environment, gender equality, and right to health. A review of literature on this topic shows that current research needs to address the gap between “life supremacy” and “equal protection” in the area of human rights protection, and the gap between “putting people first” and “strict control at the grassroots level” in the area of good governance. The research should employ intersectional methodology to highlight the rights logic of the socialist legal system and the key role of the Communist Party of China’s leadership in balancing individual versus community rights, enhancing the governance capability for participation by multiple social agents, ensuring equal protection for disadvantaged groups, promoting inclusive and sustainable development, and realizing the common prosperity of all the people.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s regularized pandemic prevention and control, leading legal scholars from China, North America, and Eurasia participated in The 6th International Conference on Human Rights Protection under Pandemic Prevention and Control. Participants engaged in fruitful discussions on the normative necessity and practical relevance of the principle of proportionality in justifying their current governments’ anti-pandemic measures. Focusing on pandemic-related human rights conditions and rule of law challenges in global contexts, this article summarizes the participating scholars’ speeches through the integrated lens of human rights and the jurisprudence of health law in the COVID-19 containment phase. Speeches can be divided into six topical dimensions, involving normative utility, governance logic, reasonable limits, constitutional criteria, viable approaches, and post-pandemic challenges with respect to the principle of proportionality. To provide a more policy-relevant and theoretically sound framework for a community of common health for mankind, this article succinctly concludes with a series of overlapping consensus on the application of the principle of proportionality in the fight against the pandemic. This consensus, tentatively named the “Renmin Human Rights Consensus,” builds on five interrelated elements and generates five human rights assertions and a series of specific principles of health law.
The trans-administrative regional (trans-regional) court was created as part of China’s judicial reforms in 2014. Thus far, only two trans-regional courts have been established, namely the Shanghai No. 3 and Beijing No. 4 Intermediate People’s Courts. An important reason for this slow pace is that the trans-regional court has transcended the current structural framework under the Organic Law of the People’s Courts in that (1) it is neither a specialized court that hears certain types of cases, (2) nor a local court established completely in keeping with administrative divisions. Therefore, the legal nature and status can only be clarified and justified when there is a clear definition of this new court system in the Organic Law of the People’s Courts. Several models, namely the independent set-up model, full reshuffling model and limited transformation model, have been proposed for the establishment of trans-regional courts. The most practical and efficient among these models is the limited transformation model, aiming to reconstruct the existing railway transportation courts. The trans-regional courts may have exclusive, alienage, or supplemental jurisdiction. Each form addresses particular types of special and major trans-regional cases, and other cases based on the theory of consolidation.