The past six months have witnessed a multitude of important developments in the Chinese NGO sector. The most crucial ones have occurred in the field of legislation, including the passing of several topical laws and some milestone legal cases. CDB is dedicated to recording these incidents and serving as a useful window for the international community into a variety of views from Chinese civil society. We here present our choice of the five notable topics from the past half year, with links to relevant news stories beneath.
1. Charity Law
After ten years in the pipeline, the Charity Law, the first national-level legislation of its kind, was passed on March 16th and will take effect on September 1st 2016. To ensure its smooth implementation, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has also released some relevant guidelines.
2. INGO Law
The second crucial piece of new legislation in philanthropy was released on April 28th. The Law on the Management of the Activities of Overseas NGOs within Mainland China will come into force on January 1st, 2017. It has captured much attention and concern globally. You can read the interpretations and views of Chinese lawyers, legal professors, and NGO workers below.
3. Environmental legislation and legal practice
Since China’s revised Environmental Protection Law took effect on January 1st 2015, there has been a stream of legal challenges brought forward by environmental NGOs in China, achieving some positive results. The Wild Animal Protection Law and The Environmental Impact Assessment Law were also revised recently, addressing some long-neglected issues within these areas.
4. Legal Actions on LGBTI Rights
China’s first lawsuit for the right to homosexual marriage was put on record by a district court in Hunan province, and later ruled against this April. Statistics show that only about 22% of Chinese people support gay marriage. There is, however, an increasing awareness of LGBTI rights owing to the impact litigations.
5. Domestic Violence Law
Domestic violence is still common in China due to traditional views on the family. The much-needed Domestic Violence Law was one of the few comprehensive laws to be passed after only two drafts. On the first day of its implementation, March 1st, a protection order was sought under the law.