On June 8, the Information Office of the State Council released a White Paper titled “Progress in China’s Human Rights in 2014” (2014年中国人权事业的进展). This is the 12th White Paper on human rights released by the Chinese government since 1991. The White Paper covers a wide range of human rights developments in 2014 including the right to development, the right to a fair trial, personal rights, democratic rights, environmental rights, rights of women, children, the elderly, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, and international cooperation and exchanges in human rights field.
In terms of the public welfare sector, the 2014 White Paper suggests that registration reforms have provided more favourable conditions for social organizations (社会组织, sometimes called NGOs) to participate in public affairs, respond to public demands, and provide public services. According to the report there were 600,000 NGOs registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs by the end of 2014 which represents an 11% increase from the year before. About half of those organizations were social associations (社会团体), 4044 of them were foundations and 289,000 were private non-enterprise units. The White Paper also says that the government purchase of social services also successfully continued. In 2014, 200 million RMB were invested in 448 projects to support social organizations, and 2.35 million people directly benefited from those projects. The government also trained close to 20,000 directors of social organizations. The White Paper also states that environment was a high priority for the government in 2014 with new legislation permitting registered social organizations to file public interest environmental lawsuits.