Media Spotlight Juvenile Justice

Dui Hua’s third Juvenile Justice Expert Exchange continued to make headlines after a successful September wrap-up. On November 29, 2012, The New York Times published an op-ed by Executive Director John Kamm, entitled “Trying Juveniles.” The article highlights improvements in China’s juvenile justice system, including records sealing and diversionary measures introduced in revisions to the Criminal Procedure Law that went into effect this year. Dui Hua is among the international partners who engaged China on the development of rehabilitative measures that we believe will significantly reduce incarceration rates for Chinese youth. American understanding of Chinese procedure has also been known to promote positive reform. As Kamm notes, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy referenced Chinese practice in the 2005 Roper vs. Simmons case that declared the death penalty unconstitutional as a punishment for juveniles offenders—China exempted juveniles from capital punishment in 1997.

Kamm discusses juvenile justice reform on local news channel KTSF 26. Photo credit: KTSF

KTSF Channel 26, an independent broadcasting station in the San Francisco Bay Area, featured Dui Hua’s work on juvenile justice reform on its nightly news program on January 2, 2013. KTSF visited our offices to interview Kamm and Senior Manager of Development & Programs Daisy Yau about our exchanges with China’s Supreme People’s Court and how new juvenile procedures will improve future prospects for juveniles in conflict with the law. The program aired in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Chinalogue: Advocacy Update

Kamm and Yau traveled to Beijing and Hong Kong in November to meet with various stakeholders. In Beijing, Kamm had a productive working lunch with China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kamm and Yau later met with Supreme People’s Court judges to receive feedback on the week-long Juvenile Justice Expert Exchange in September. In Hong Kong, Kamm received information on seven individuals imprisoned in Guangdong and visited Shek Pik Prison with Research Assistant Vannie Lau. Following a presentation to the Swedish International Development Agency, Dui Hua secured additional funding from Sweden.

Progress was made on Dui Hua’s women in prison initiative with the confirmation of the University of Hong Kong as our local partner to host an international conference in 2014. Dui Hua is now working with the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, Renmin University Law School, and Penal Reform International to raise funds for the conference and develop research, identify participants, and shape the conference itinerary. The purpose of the conference is to increase awareness of the conditions of the growing number of women in prison—people whose needs have traditionally been overlooked in overwhelmingly male corrections systems—and promote implementation of the Bangkok Rules (the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders) to ensure that women’s needs are not only understood but met.

Community Outreach

At the Annual Friends of Dui Hua Open House, Dui Hua Senior Manager of Finance & Operations Irene Kamm (left photo, center) and Executive Director John Kamm (right photo, center) chat with supporters.

Dui Hua engaged scholars and supporters with several events this winter. On December 11, 2012, more than 30 supporters braved the cold to attend the Annual Friends of Dui Hua Open House at our San Francisco headquarters. Kamm addressed attendees, emphasizing the importance of promoting human rights in China and advocating on the behalf of political prisoners amid tensions over trade relations and territorial disputes and uncertainties surrounding China’s new leadership.

In Hong Kong, Publications & Communications Officer Megan Ko gave a presentation on Dui Hua’s work to 27 students and faculty visiting from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and Andover Newton Theological School. In California, Kamm gave a presentation to students studying “Hot Topics in US-China Law” at UC Berkeley School of Law. He discussed his involvement in China since the late 1970’s and answered questions on advocacy for political prisoners and the prospects of human rights in China.

Kamm and Yau (center) meet with Berkeley Law students and Professor Daniel Farber (front, 5th left) and Professor Alex Wang (back left)

Gratitude for the New Year

Generous contributions kept Dui Hua staff busy as 2012 came to a close. Economic uncertainty meant that fewer funds were raised than in the previous year, but the number of people making donations rose more than 11 percent to 214 individuals and companies. Nearly a quarter of those making donations were first-time contributors. Dui Hua would like to thank you for continuing to support the dialogue with your actions, donations, and readership and wish you an empowering year of the snake!