Ten years of the CRPD’s adoption in China : challenges and opportunities

Shixin HUANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1004-1009
Number of pages6
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number6
Early online date2 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • China
  • Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
  • disability rights movement
  • disabled persons’ organizations
  • rights advocacy
  • service provision


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