China and Human Rights


A key challenge faced by those engaged in international human rights policy and practice is adopting an effective framework for protecting and promoting human rights around the world which preserves and articulates their universal nature, while respecting local values and practices at the same time. 

A new collaborative research project, known as the ‘Receptor Approach’, is bringing together experts from around the world and from a variety of disciplines – law, anthropology, sociology, political science, international relations and philosophy among others, to examine values, norms, customs and practices in non-Western cultures which can act as ‘receptors’ for human rights principles and practice.

Scholars from the People’s Republic of China are among the first to participate in this collaborative interdisciplinary project. A partnership has been formed between:

  • Netherlands School of Human Rights Research
  • Institute of International Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Research Centre for Human Rights, Shandong University School of Law

The Steering Committee consists of distinguished human rights scholars from the above institutions, as well as from Tsinghua University, Xiamen University, Zhejiang University, Hong Kong University, London School of Oriental and African Studies, University of Southern California and Emory University.

This is the first time Western and Chinese scholars from such diverse disciplines will be collaborating so closely and directly on a human rights project in China. It is hoped that the research outcomes will help policy-makers and other stakeholders to engage in culturally relevant, meaningful and effective cooperation on human rights issues.