MIGRANT CHILDREN REPORT
On May 8, 2002, HRIC issued a report, Shutting out the poorest: discrimination against the most disadvantaged children in Chinas city schools. The report examines the barriers official policies pose to the realization of the right to education for migrant children in China. HRICs report was released as the United Nations convened its Special Session on Children in New York and soon after the international community has agreed to make ensuring basic education for children in poor countries a priority.
NEW WEB SITE LAUNCHED
In December, HRIC launched its new Web site, developed and maintained in Hong Kong. While the English content remains similar, the focus of the new site is the Chinese material, which includes press releases, news, detainee profiles, HRIC reports, educational materials and campaign action plans. The sub-site Ren yu Renquan is an online magazine providing an open forum for discussion. During April, the site received over 127,000 page hits to its Chinese Big 5 section (traditional characters), close to 120,000 hits to its GB sections (simplified character) and more than 380,000 hits to its English site. The database-driven site, which will become increasingly interactive, is still under development, so we encourage your feedback and contributions.
Acting Executive Director Sharon Hom, HRIC Researcher Nicolas Becquelin and Program Officer Chine Chan attended the UN Commission on Human Rights (March 18 to April 26). Hom and Becquelin participated with the support of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. In addition to attending the Commission plenary sessions, briefings by the Special Rapporteurs and NGO briefings, HRIC organized a press briefing on April 4, to address the human rights situation in China, Xinjiang and Tibet.
Chine Chan participated in a six-week course on Effective Use of International Mechanisms of Human Rights, organized by the International Service for Human Rights, attending the full Commission session. Chan met with other human rights activists and UN Special Rapporteurs and participated in organizing the Asian NGO network during the session. Thanks to the Netherlands Catholic Mission for Community for supporting Chans training.
On April 15, 2002, Sharon Hom spoke to a staff-led round table of the Congressional Executive Commission on China. The topic under discussion was The Internet and Free Flow of Information in China. HRICs statement focused on the relationship between human rights and the Internet.
WORLD AFFAIRS CONFERENCE
On April 22, Sharon Hom participated in the 48th Annual World Affairs Conference, a day-long convention organized by the World Affairs Council of Greater Cincinnati. The focus of the conference was China: The 21st Century Super Power? Hom presented on two panels: Political and Social Trends in China and Human Rights in China.
On February 26, HRIC and the Crowley Program in International Human Rights presented a program entitled Presumed Disloyal: Immigrant Communities in Times of War. The program included a screening of Amy Chens documentary, The Chinatown Files, followed by a panel discussion on civil rights in the United States, international human rights and US-China relations in the post-September 11 context.
TIANANMEN MOTHERS CAMPAIGN
HRIC and other human rights groups are continuing their advocacy on the Tiananmen Mothers Campaign in Hong Kong this year. Among other projects, this year the group introduced Play Back Theater, an interactive theater program. Between April 25 and June 4, 17 theater events were held in schools, community centers and public places. In addition, the Campaign completed an educational kit on Ending Impunity composed of a booklet and a video, which has been used in five schools and 30 classes. Internationally, Chine Chan met with the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and Latin American Mothers group in Geneva. Advocacy to support the Tiananmen Mothers will be a key part of AFADs work over the coming years.
XIAO QIANG ON SABBATICAL
Executive Director Xiao Qiang is currently enjoying a much-deserved sabbatical. In addition to attending the MacArthur Fellows conference in Germany, Xiao Qiang has been making his way around the globe. The HRIC office wishes Xiao continued adventures and a safe return!
HRIC thanks volunteers and interns Jeff Gima, Melissa Ong, Ines Kwan and Heather Carter Upadhyay and others who do not wish to be named, for their generous and invaluable help.