The Centre for the Study of Human Rights at Nankai University was established on 8 April 2005. It was approved as a key humanities and social sciences research base in colleges and universities of Tianjin in 2010, and was designated as a National Human Rights Education and Training Base in 2011. In August 2013, Nankai University, China University of Political Science and Law and Guangzhou University jointly established the Collaborative Innovation Center for Human Rights.
I. Purpose and Objectives
1.The Zhang Pengchun Spirit and Our Purpose
In 1947, Nankai University’s Professor Peng Chun Chang became Vice-Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights, and was directly involved in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Professor Chang’s important contribution was recognised across the world and is the pride of Nankai. Our Centre’s purpose is: in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to identify and promote the best human rights thoughts from China and abroad, to leverage its multi-disciplinary talent advantage for research on and creation of innovative human rights theories, to explore and participate in China’s human rights development, and to help foster vigorous human rights development in China.
The Centre will work towards establishing itself as a cross-discipline and comprehensive academic platform for studying human rights and a key base for human rights education, training and knowledge dissemination. It also aims to become a bridge that helps connect the different human rights research institutes in China, an important think tank that advises the government on human rights policies, and an influential Chinese NGO on human rights issues in international human rights exchanges.
II. Organizational Structure
1. Academic Committee
Chairman: Dong Yunhu Vice-chairman: Zhu Guanglei
Committee Member: Xue Jinwen, Chang Jian, Qi yanping, Liu Jie, Luo Yanhua
2. Administrative Team
Director: Chang Jian Vice-director: Tang Yingxia
Director of the Human Rights Policy Research Department:
Director of the Human Rights Law Research Department: Zhao Zhengqun
Director of Latin America’s Human Rights Research Department: Dong Guohui
III. Human Rights Research
1．China Human Rights in Action Series
Since 2004, the Centre has been collaborating with the China Society for Human Rights Studies in preparing the China’s Human Rights in Action report, documenting major laws, policies, measures and cases relating to human rights for the year. To date, eight issues have been published. The reports are also available in English.
2．Progress in China's Human Rights(Blue Book)
Since 2011, together with the China Society for Human Rights Studies, the Centre organises China human rights experts to prepare the Annual Report on China's Human Rights (Blue Book of China’s Human Rights). The annual Blue Book analyses the progress of human rights enterprise and the challenges faced in China from an academic perspective and provides policy recommendations. To date, 4 books have been published.
3．Human Rights Research Projects
The Centre's members leverage their multi-disciplinary synergy and undertook research on human rights issues commissioned by the NSSF, Ministry of Education, Tianjin Municipality and China Society for Human Rights Studies.
IV. Human Rights Education, Training and Knowledge Dissemination
1．Specialised and Elective Courses for University
The Centre offers general elective courses for all Nankai undergraduates in “Human Rights Fundamentals and Awareness”, “Rule of Law and Protection of Human Rights”, etc. It also offers “International Human Rights” as a specialised course at the Law School, and “Human Rights and Foreign Policy” at the College of History. The Centre further organises lectures at the School of Government on “Human Rights Theory” for post-graduate students, and recruits Ph.D. students in human rights theory and practice.
2．Elementary and High School Education Project
The Centre is collaborating with the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) in a three-year human rights education project for elementary and high school students. The project includes developing human rights teaching materials and teaching guides, as well as training of teachers.
3．Training Project for Government Officials
The Centre’s collaboration with DIHR also includes human rights training for local government officials, development of the necessary training materials and teaching guides, and provision of teacher-training.
On many occasions, Chang Jian, Zhao Zhengqun and Tang Yingxia, the Centre’s members, have been invited by the State Council Information Office to train its officials on human rights. The Centre’s members also conduct frequent human rights training and seminars for the local officials in Tianjin Municipality.
To disseminate knowledge on human rights, the Centre’s members have developed popular human rights-related books, such as the 60 Years of Human Rights Development in China,Human Rights—A Citizen’s Reader, and Human Rights Protection in Contemporary China.
V. Advisory Service for the Government
Chang Jian, Zhao Zhengqun, Tang Yingxia and Hao Yaming, our Centre’s members, were experts involved in the drafting and evaluation of the National Human Rights Action Plan. They also helped draft the white paper on Progress in China's Human Rights.
Our members submitted the “Report on the Implementation of China’s Basic Standards of Social Welfare Institution for Children” to the Ministry of Civil Affairs and UNICEF, and the Research Report on Gender Equality within the Family Domain and Women’s Development Index System to the All-China Women’s Federation.
The Centre also uses the Collaborative Innovation Centre for Human Rights as a platform to submit regularly to the human rights authorities an Advisory Brief on Human Rights
VI. Human Rights Exchanges
1. National Exchanges
The Centre has hosted the Second National Exchange Forum for Human Right Research Institutions (2010), and organised the China Human Rights Development Seminar (2011). It also co-organised the National Human Rights Education Annual Meeting (2014).
2. International Exchanges
The Centre’s members have made study visits to the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex in the U.K., Netherlands School of Human Rights Research, the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and the Human Rights Centre at the University of Minnesota, USA. It has also collaborated with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Netherlands School of Human Rights Education in various projects.
They have also participated in the human rights training organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and were involved in the universal periodic review conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council. As an NGO, the Centre submits to the UN Human Rights Council a shadow report on the human rights situation in China.