This post introduces a set of comments on the Charity Law of the PRC (Draft) I have prepared together with the Foundation for Law and International Affairs.
The comments can be accessed here:
- General Comment on the Charity Law of the PRC (Draft) - Larry Catà Backer and FLIA - Download
- Technical Comment on the Charity Law of the PRC (Draft) - Jedrzej Górski, Zhu Shaoming, Flora Sapio - Download
As those who have been following the vicissitudes of China's civil society sector will know, a Draft Charity Law was submitted to the National People's Congress at the end of October, and released for public comment.
During the time I spent in Hong Kong, I was fortunate enough to have had an opportunity to more closely observe the chances as well as the hurdles Chinese civil society organizations face every day.
Earlier, I have stated how the decision to establish Party groups in Chinese and foreign civil society organizations is a much needed move to once and for all set straight the relationship between civil society organizations, and the local leadership. Knowing and addressing the needs and demands of all stakeholders is essential to ensure a smooth management and implementation of cooperation projects. The Foreign NGOs Management Law marked a phase where foreign donor agencies and NGOs may have wanted to pause and ask themselves whether, in trying to help address the needs of Chinese society, they were speaking a language compatible with the language spoken by Chinese stakeholders.
The Charity Law (Draft) signals our ingress in a different and much brighter phase, one in which we will witness a renewed emphasis on the role charities can play in social governance. After a 10 years gestation, the Charity Law will encourage a greater transparency and accountability of foreign as well as domestic NGOs. The focus on these two fundamental values will improve the contribution of China and foreign's civil society sector to good governance. The Draft law addresses these and other themes, yet other possibilities deserve a closer consideration.
Preventing corruption and money laundering, defining a clearer role for foreign NGOs, tapping Chinese NGOs potential to promote global good governance are some of the areas that deserve further attention. These and other areas are explored in the Foundation for Law and International Affairs comments on the Charity Law. I hope the comments will be useful to the National People's Congress, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, domestic and international donors and practitioners, as well as the academic community.
The Foundation for Law and International Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization mandated to promote academic and public discourse at the intersection of law and international affairs. The core vision of FLIA is to promote international cooperation and public dialogue through the development of new ideas and collaboration with various academic, governmental and civil actors. The mission of FLIA is to facilitate international scholarly activities, conduct high quality, independent research and policy analysis, engage in public education and awareness-building programs, as well as amplify the voice of the rising generation.
A heartfelt thank you goes to the China Law Translate community, for an excellent translation of the Draft Charity Law.