China will abolish its decades-long labor reeducation system, a plan used to punish criminals in place of prison sentencing in a decision reached during a Standing Committee meeting of the National People's Congress which ended yesterday, according to China.org news.
The moves represents a step forward in China's human rights condition as the labor camps operate outside of China's constitution and legal system.
Dissidents and other political activists in China which have been detained by public security without trial have been known to be sent to labor camps since the Cultural Revolution.
After the abolishment of the labor reeducation system, criminals will still be subjected to China's constitution and criminal laws. In addition, a new "community correction" system has been introduced which will give parolees the chance of completing their sentences in the form of community service.
A number of cities in China have already begun phasing out the labor reeducation system in 2013 such as Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Jinan and have met with wide public approval, according to China.org. news.