Constitution of the People's Republic of China
(Full text after amendment on March 14, 2004)
Chapter II The Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens
Article 33 All persons holding the nationality of the People’s Republic of China are citizens of the People’s Republic of China.
All citizens of the People’s Republic of China are equal before the law.
The State respects and preserves human rights.
Every citizen is entitled to the rights and at the same time must perform the duties prescribed by the Constitution and other laws.
Article 34 All citizens of the People’s Republic of China who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote and stand for election, regardless of ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, property status or length of residence, except persons deprived of political rights according to law.
Article 35 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.
Article 36 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief.
No State organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.
The State protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the State.
Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.
Article 37 Freedom of the person of citizens of the People’s Republic of China is inviolable.
No citizen may be arrested except with the approval or by decision of a people’s procuratorate or by decision of a people’s court, and arrests must be made by a public security organ.
Unlawful detention or deprivation or restriction of citizens’ freedom of the person by other means is prohibited, and unlawful search of the person of citizens is prohibited.
Article 38 The personal dignity of citizens of the People’s Republic of China is inviolable. Insult, libel, false accusation or false incrimination directed against citizens by any means is prohibited.
Article 39 The residences of citizens of the People’s Republic of China are inviolable. Unlawful search of, or intrusion into, a citizen’s residence is prohibited.
Article 40 Freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens of the People’s Republic of China are protected by law. No organization or individual may, on any ground, infringe upon citizens’ freedom and privacy of correspondence, except in cases where, to meet the needs of State security or of criminal investigation, public security or procuratorial organs are permitted to censor correspondence in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law.
Article 41 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding any State organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant State organs complaints or charges against, or exposures of, any State organ or functionary for violation of law or dereliction of duty; but fabrication or distortion of facts for purposes of libel or false incrimination is prohibited.
The State organ concerned must, in a responsible manner and by ascertaining the facts, deal with the complaints, charges or exposures made by citizens. No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures or retaliate against the citizens making them.
Citizens who have suffered losses as a result of infringement of their civic rights by any State organ or functionary have the right to compensation in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 42 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right as well as the duty to work.
Through various channels, the State creates conditions for employment, enhances occupational safety and health, improves working conditions and, on the basis of expanded production, increases remuneration for work and welfare benefits.
Work is a matter of honour for every citizen who is able to work. All working people in State-owned enterprises and in urban and rural economic collectives should approach their work as the masters of the country that they are. The State promotes socialist labour emulation, and commends and rewards model and advanced workers. The State encourages citizens to take part in voluntary labour.
The State provides necessary vocational training for citizens before they are employed.
Article 43 Working people in the People’s Republic of China have the right to rest.
The State expands facilities for the rest and recuperation of the working people and prescribes working hours and vacations for workers and staff.
Article 44 The State applies the system of retirement for workers and staff members of enterprises and institutions and for functionaries of organs of State according to law. The livelihood of retired persons is ensured by the State and society.
Article 45 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to material assistance from the State and society when they are old, ill or disabled. The State develops social insurance, social relief and medical and health services that are required for citizens to enjoy this right.
The State and society ensure the livelihood of disabled members of the armed forces, provide pensions to the families of martyrs and give preferential treatment to the families of military personnel.
The State and society help make arrangements for the work, livelihood and education of the blind, deaf-mutes and other handicapped citizens.
Article 46 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the duty as well as the right to receive education.
The State promotes the all-round development of children and young people, morally, intellectually and physically.
Article 47 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the freedom to engage in scientific research, literary and artistic creation and other cultural pursuits. The State encourages and assists creative endeavours conducive to the interests of the people that are made by citizens engaged in education, science, technology, literature, art and other cultural work.
Article 48 Women in the People’s Republic of China enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of life, in political, economic, cultural, social and family life.
The State protects the rights and interests of women, applies the principle of equal pay for equal work to men and women alike and trains and selects cadres from among women.
Article 49 Marriage, the family and mother and child are protected by the State.
Both husband and wife have the duty to practise family planning.
Parents have the duty to rear and educate their children who are minors, and children who have come of age have the duty to support and assist their parents.
Violation of the freedom of marriage is prohibited. Maltreatment of old people, women and children is prohibited.
Article 50 The People’s Republic of China protects the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals residing abroad and protects the lawful rights and interests of returned overseas Chinese and of the family members of Chinese nationals residing abroad.
Article 51 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China, in exercising their freedoms and rights, may not infringe upon the interests of the State, of society or of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.
Article 52 It is the duty of citizens of the People’s Republic of China to safeguard the unification of the country and the unity of all its nationalities.
Article 53 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China must abide by the Constitution and other laws, keep State secrets, protect public property, observe labour discipline and public order and respect social ethics.
Article 54 It is the duty of citizens of the People’s Republic of China to safeguard the security, honour and interests of the motherland; they must not commit acts detrimental to the security, honour and interests of the motherland.
Article 55 It is the sacred duty of every citizen of the People’s Republic of China to defend the motherland and resist aggression.
It is the honourable duty of citizens of the People’s Republic of China to perform military service and join the militia in accordance with law.
Article 56 It is the duty of citizens of the People’s Republic of China to pay taxes in accordance with law.