The Raoul Wallenberg Institute initiated cooperation with Chinese institutions in the mid-1990s. In the beginning, the Institute held human rights training courses for high-level representatives in primarily the justice sector, while developing exchanges and cooperation with academic institutions.
With the establishment of a presence in Beijing in 2001, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute began implementing a comprehensive programme focusing on human rights cooperation with the Chinese academia and the Chinese procuratorate. In 2004, activities in support of the promotion of the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) were initiated.
Currently, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute is implementing a three-year (2011-2013) human rights capacity development programme in China. The programme includes cooperation with the National Prosecutor’s College in Beijing and provincial branch colleges throughout China to strengthen the human rights component as part of the professional training for prosecutors. The programme also includes cooperation with Haidian District People’s Procuratorate in Beijing to support their newly established juvenile unit, aiming at improved procutorial case handling mechanisms in line with international human rights standards.
The 2011-2013 programme also includes a component concerning cooperation with Chinese academic institutions. The Institute’s partner Peking University Law School’s Research Centre for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law started China’s first human rights programme at post-graduate level in 2004 with support from the Institute. In the current programme, the Institute continues to support the development of this programme, and in addition also cooperates with four universities in Western China on human rights teaching and curriculum development. To increase networking and cooperation opportunities for human rights teachers, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute supports the National Human Rights Education Annual Meeting organised in cooperation with Chinese universities, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights.
In cooperation with China University of Political Science and Law, the Institute works to promote the establishment of a NHRI in China through raising awareness of the positive role NHRIs can play in promoting and protecting human rights at the national level, sharing of global experiences of the establishment and functioning of NHRIs, and providing technical advice on drafting NHRI legislation.
The Raoul Wallenberg Institute programme in China is financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The results of fifteen years (1996 – 2011) of Raoul Wallenberg Institute programmes in China were reviewed by an external evaluator in 2012, and concluded very positively that
“The RWI Programme running from 1996 to the present is a remarkable example of foreign engagement that has had a measurable impact in the key area of human rights education. The RWI Programme has a degree of integrity that sets its achievements in a class of its own. “
RWI’s regional programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.