Statement on the Concluding Observations by UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Labour Action China welcomes the concluding observations on the second periodic report of China by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was released publicly yesterday. Together with four other NGOs, we submitted a joint parallel report to the Committee in April 2013. We, also, sent a delegate to participate in the public events organised by the Committee Secretariat in Geneva this month. We appreciate that the Committee has taken up most of our concerns in the aspects of labour rights.


In the concluding observations, the Committee recommends China “to establish a clear regulatory framework for companies operating in the State party to ensure that their activities promote and do not negatively affect the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural human rights”. Ms Suki Chung, our executive director, said, “It is a clear message from the UN Committee that the Chinese Government has an indispensable obligation to forbid any enterprises, whether it is a transnational corporation or a family business, from eroding human rights in the course of daily operation.” Meanwhile, enterprises have a positive role to play in promoting economic, social and cultural rights. These rights include the elimination of gender wage gap, ensuring just and favourable working conditions.


Occupational safety and health is the core of our advocacy. We acknowledge that the Committee urges the Chinese Government to ensure an open “access to medical and accident insurance, as well as to adequate compensation for injuries and work-related diseases.” In addition, “an effective and independent inspection mechanism for monitoring the conditions of work” is crucial and fundamental to the prevention of work-related injuries and occupational diseases.


We sincerely hope the Chinese Government will work with all civil society organisations in implementing these recommendations. The Committee has raised the concern of repression and reprisals of labour activists and hence it urges “[the protection of human rights and labour activists … against any form of intimidation, threat and retaliation for taking up cases of violations of economic, social and cultural rights.”

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To download our joint parallel report.

To download the advance unedited version of the concluding observations.