This article examines the challenges and opportunities of implementing the CRPD's rights-based model in China, especially the effects of the diminishing space for civil society on the nascent disability rights movement. A disability rights movement emerged as a direct result of the CRPD’s adoption in 2008. Two recent restrictive civil society legislations, however, undermined this process. While the diminishing space of civil society has posed great challenges to the movement by marginalizing the rights advocacy approach, it has created an opportunity for service-oriented disability associations to thrive. While service-oriented associations are often ignored by disability studies scholarship and the disability rights movement, I argue that, through these organizations, persons with disabilities in China have done critical identity work and substantively increased their level of independence in their daily lives. As a result, a disability rights consciousness continues to be built in China, despite governmental hostility to political advocacy.
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- Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
- disability rights movement
- disabled persons’ organizations
- rights advocacy
- service provision