On June 12, AABANY and United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), hosted Lu Jun, a distinguished human rights lawyer from China. Lu Jun is the Chief Coordinator of Beijing Yirenping Center (“Center for Promotion of Equality and Mercy “), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social justice and public well-being in China. Yirenping offers education on communicable disease prevention and control, provides community outreach and assistance for patients, and works to eliminate discrimination. 

Lu Jun spoke about his cases of impact litigation against employment discrimination due to many factors: gender, age, hepatitis B status, appearance, disability, etc. He spoke about the full gamut of prejudice and how Yirenping choose cases that will garner public attention in the effort to halt the discriminatory practices. 

During the roundtable discussion, lawyers knowledgeable about the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), New York State Attorney General’s Office, and the US EEOC shared their insights and comparisons to the protection of workers in the United States.

The challenges presented to human rights lawyers are multifaceted, as the political and legal landscape within China are still under development. Without legislation to rely upon in many cases, Yirenping must offer solutions and gain public support in arguing for workers’ rights. In addition to attempting impact litigation, Yirenping also advocates for positive change via seminars on discrimination, survey/research to represent the realities of discrimination, lobbying for legislation, anti-discrimination training, legislative proposals, and public social action. The fight for these rights is a noble but arduous one.