China: “Changing the soup but not the medicine?” : Abolishing re-education through labour in China
The announcement on 15 November 2013 that the Chinese Communist Party intends to abolish the Re-education Through Labour (RTL) system is a positive development for China’s criminal justice system. This decision has the promise of sparing hundreds of thousands of individuals possibly years of arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and abusive conditions. The closure of RTL camps will not bring long-term relief or justice if the policies driving the human rights violations do not change. Chinese authorities need to abolish all forms of arbitrary detention and stop punishing individuals for doing nothing more than peacefully exercising their human rights.