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CEAS Symposium: Human Rights and China

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 9:30am to 3:00pm

Perry World House (3803 Locust Walk)

PLEASE REGISTER HERE to help us get a sense of how many people will be coming


As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 25th anniversary of the Bangkok Declaration (a foundational document of the “Asian values” version of human rights), and nearly three decades since the People’s Republic of China officially accepted universal human rights, this symposium brings together leading experts to examine the state of human rights in China. 

Across and around China, many phenomena raise significant human rights concerns. In much of China, a more illiberal political climate under Xi Jinping, crackdowns on human rights lawyers and unauthorized religious groups, new limits on nongovernmental organizations, and an increasingly pervasive surveillance state; in Xinjiang, detention and internment of Uyghurs on a massive scale, and mounting state-created threats to ethnic and Muslim identity; in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, growing intervention by the central government and threats to Hong Kong’s promised autonomy, and stifling of democratic reform and prosecution of pro-democracy leaders; and, across the Taiwan Strait, renewed emphasis on contrasting human rights conditions on the island and in the Chinese mainland amid Beijing’s renewed squeeze of Taiwan’s international space and pressure for unification.

Panel I (9:30-11:30am): Human Rights and Greater China

Jerome Cohen (Professor of Law, New York University)
Michael Davis
(Professor of Law and International Affairs, Jindal Global University, and Fellow at the Asia Program, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Wilson Center)
Jacques deLisle (Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law, Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, and Director of FPRI's Asia Program)
Sophie Richardson (China Director, Human Rights Watch)
William W. Burke-White (Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director, Perry World House), moderator

Lunch keynote address(11:30-1pm)

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (Distinguished Global Leader-in-Residence at Perry World House, and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)

Panel II (1-3pm): Human Rights and Xinjiang

Rebecca Clothey (Associate Professor of Education Director of Global Studies, Drexel University)
Jerome Cohen (Professor of Law, New York University)
Timothy A. Grose (Assistant Professor of China Studies, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology)
Nury Turkel (Chairman of the Board, Uyghur Human Rights Project)
Jacques deLisle (Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law, Professor of Political Science), moderator

Sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies, the Center for the Study of Contemporary China, Center for Asian Law, Perry World House, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute

This program has been approved for 3.5 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $140.00 ($70.00 public interest/non-pro t attorneys) cash or check made payable to e Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.