Type: Seminar

China and the global human rights system

Challenges and opportunities for diplomacy and civil society engagement


Sarah M. Brooks, Rosemary Foot, Rana Siu Inboden and John Ciorciari

Date & time

Dec 5, 2022, 11:30 am-12:45 pm EST


This is a Virtual Event.

In recent years, China’s human rights practices have been the subject of mounting international attention and concern. Crackdowns on protesters, the situation in Xinjiang, and other developments have raised questions about international actors’ willingness and ability to address human rights issues within China. This virtual panel will examine China’s relationship with the global human rights system. Three noted experts will share insights drawn from academic study, civil society engagement, and diplomatic practice. They will discuss how China advances its objectives relating to human rights within international forums, examining how China promotes its ideas and seeks to shape the institutional design of bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council, and the Chinese-led South-South Forum on Human Rights. They will analyze how China has sought to constrain these and other key human rights institutions and mechanisms and the practical effects of its efforts on human rights behavior, and share insights about the challenges and opportunities for diplomacy and for civil society engagement to address China’s human rights practices and those of other authoritarian states.

From the speakers' bios


Sarah M. Brooks is Program Director for the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), a leading non-governmental organization committed to promoting and protecting human rights. She provides strategic guidance for ISHR programs, leads its work to support Chinese human rights defenders, and engages the EU and European states on foreign policy and human rights. Previously she worked as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. She is a Ford School alumna with Master’s degrees in Public Policy and Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan.

Rosemary Foot is Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations. She is also an associate of Oxford’s China Centre and an Emeritus Fellow of St. Antony’s College, where she served as Professor of International Relations and the John Swire Senior Research Fellow in the International Relations of East Asia. She has published widely on topics including China-U.S. relations, Chinese foreign policy, international politics in Asia, and international human rights and human protection regimes.

Rana Siu Inboden is a senior fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin. She consults for several nongovernmental organizations and conducts research on international human rights, Chinese foreign policy, international human rights and democracy projects, and the United Nations. She previously served in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, managing its Human Rights and Democracy Fund China program and promoting U.S. human rights and democracy policy in China and North Korea. She also served at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs, and in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, where she covered U.S.-China relations.


John D. Ciorciari is the associate dean for research and policy engagement at the Ford School, where he is a professor and directs the Weiser Diplomacy Center and International Policy Center.

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