Civil society is crucial in helping to address the massive health challenges confronting China today. Domestic and international NGOs are raising public awareness to help curb the spread of hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Legal activists are mounting challenges in Chinese courts against discrimination facing victims of these diseases.
But civil society organizations face a difficult regulatory environment in China. Although some officials support liberalizing restrictions to encourage the development of domestic charities, central authorities remain committed to maintaining firm state control over Chinese civil society. The past year has witnessed heightened official pressure on domestic Chinese organizations, including a tightening of restrictions on their funding.
Fordham Law School and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice will hold a one-day conference on Thursday, February 24, 2011, examining Chinese civil society in the field of public health. Topics addressed will include the legal environment facing both domestic and international organizations, their actual operations, recent developments, and prospects for change.
The conference is free and open to the public.
There is no registration fee, but please register in advance. To reserve your place, please email your name, title, organization and contact information to Joy Chia (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(Participant list as of 12/03/2010 — subject to change)
8:45 Registration and Breakfast
9:30 Panel 1: Civil Society in China: Regulation and Practice
Karla Simon, Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America
Tom Kellogg, Program Director, China North East Asia, Open Society Foundation
Wan Yanhai, Director, Beijing Aizhixing Institute; Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellow at NED
Moderator: Jerry Cohen, Professor of Law, Co-Director, U.S.-Asia Law Institute, New York University School of Law
11:15 Panel 2: Anti-Discrimination Efforts in China
Chinese Anti-Discrimination Activists
Timothy Webster, Senior Fellow, China Law Center, Yale University; Lecturer-in-Law, Yale Law School
Moderator: Martin Flaherty, Leitner Family Professor of Law and Co-Director, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, Fordham Law School
2:00 Panel 3: Public Participation: Toward a Responsive Health System
Christina Ho, Assistant Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law—Newark
Benjamin Liebman, Professor of Law, Director, Center for Chinese Legal Studies, Columbia University School of Law
3:45 Panel 4: China: The Response to HIV/AIDS
Scott Burris, Professor of Law, James E. Beasley School of Law, Temple University, Associate Direct of the Center for Law and the Public’s Health
Sara L.M. Davis, Executive Director, Asia Catalyst
Moderator: Carl Minzner, Visiting Professor of Law, Fordham School of Law
5:15 Closing remarks and reception
7:00 Dinner (by invitation only)
Conference announcement (PDF).