Ambivalence & Activism: Employment Discrimination in China

67 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2010 Last revised: 29 Mar 2015

See all articles by Timothy Webster

Timothy Webster

Western New England University School of Law

Date Written: September 1, 2010


Chinese courts do not vigorously enforce many human rights, but a recent string of employment discrimination lawsuits suggests that, given the appropriate conditions, advocacy strategies, signals from above, and rights at issue, courts can help victims vindicate their constitutional and statutory rights to equality. Since 2008, carriers of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) have used the Employment Promotion Law to challenge hiring discrimination. Their high success rate suggests official support for making one potent form of discrimination illegal. Central to these lawsuits is a broad network of lawyers, activists and scholars who have advocated for protecting the rights of HBV carriers, suggesting a limited role for civil society actors in the field of law and policy.

Keywords: employment discrimination, hepatitis b virus, Chinese law, Chinese courts, human rights

Suggested Citation

Webster, Timothy, Ambivalence & Activism: Employment Discrimination in China (September 1, 2010). Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 44, No. 643, 2011. Available at SSRN: or

Timothy Webster (Contact Author)

Western New England University School of Law ( email )

1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119
United States

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