Full Text: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2012 (13)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-5-14 10:55:53

Children and women's rights are better protected. Since 2010 the state has constantly improved laws and policies on the protection of children and women's rights. The newly amended Electoral Law of the People's Republic of China on the National People's Congress and Local People's Congresses, Organizational Law of Villagers' Committees, Regulations Concerning the Labor Protection of Female Staff and Workers and the newly formulated Social Insurance Law all pay high attention to the increase of female representativeness in politics, the promotion of maternity insurance and the creation of a safe and healthy working environment for female employees. The outline of the 12th Five-year Plan specially added two sections, i.e., "promoting women's development in an all-round way" and "giving priority to children's development." In 2011 the Chinese government issued the Outline Program for the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020) and Outline Program for the Development of Children (2011-2020), to further implement the basic national policy of equality between men and women, and the principle of giving priority to children. The implementation of the National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking of Women and Children (2008-2012) and the Opinions on Punishing the Crimes of Abducting and Trafficking in Women and Children further strengthened the legal protection of women and children's rights. Women's health keeps improving and their average life expectancy has been further extended. In 2010 the average life expectancy of women was 77.37 years, 4.99 years longer than men, and an increase of 4.04 years over that of 2000. Women have more job opportunities. In 2011 the number of women who were employed reached 351.53 million across the country, and over the years women account for about 46 percent of all employees. Generally, women are having wider access to social security, and the coverage of maternity insurance for urban female workers is 95 percent. Women's representativeness in politics is increasing, and their awareness of social participation is growing. At the end of 2011, there were females in 83.9 percent, 86.5 percent and 89.8 percent of the leading bodies at the provincial, city (prefectural) and county levels, respectively. Children's health is also improving. The infant mortality and mortality of children under five years old both keep declining. In 2012 the infant mortality was 1.03%, and the mortality of children under five years old was 1.32%, respectively, realizing one of the UN Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule. The state is implementing an immunization program, and the free vaccination has been expanded from seven diseases prevented by five vaccines to 15 diseases prevented by 14 vaccines. Children's right to education is fully guaranteed. In 2011 the gross enrollment rate of kindergartens, net enrollment rate of elementary schools and gross enrollment rate of middle schools were 62.3 percent, 99.8 percent and 100.1 percent, respectively. The right of children with migrant families and disabled children to education is basically protected. The rights of vulnerable groups of children such as orphans, impoverished children, waifs and HIV-infected children are basically protected, and they are getting more care and assistance.

Social security and service system for the disabled keeps improving. In March 2010 the General Office of the State Council forwarded the Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Building of a Social Security and Service System for the Disabled. The development fund for the disabled earmarked by the central budget during the 12th Five-year Plan period is about four times that in the 11th Five-year Plan period. In 2012 the state carried out community-based rehabilitation services in 2,794 counties and districts nationwide, and helped 7.602 million disabled people become rehabilitated to various degrees through the implementation of key rehabilitation programs; 15,000 disabled children received preschool education funds from central and local governments; the state offered vocational training for 299,000 disabled people in cities and towns, and subsidized 141,000 impoverished households with at least one disabled member each to build barrier-free facilities. Legal aid and relief agencies at different levels provided legal services for 100,000 disabled people, and 2.391 million disabled people from urban areas and 363,000 disabled people from rural areas had been granted life allowances and home-care subsidies steadily. The state had granted fuel subsidies for the motor wheelchairs of 554,000 disabled people. By the end of 2012, some 10.705 million disabled people had been deemed eligible for subsistence allowances, with the assistance level for their families improving. Some 2.809 million disabled workers in towns and cities had been covered by various social insurance policies. Nationwide, 7,275 boarding homes and day-care centers for the disabled have been set up, providing services for 747,000 disabled people. Various activities such as culture weeks, fitness weeks and community culture shows have been organized for the disabled to enrich their cultural and sports lives. Social resources are pooled to create barrier-free standards for information accessibility. A website to serve the disabled (www.cdpsn.org.cn) provides barrier-free online services for them to search for information on news, employment,rehabilitation, assistance, etc.

Social organizations are playing a positive role in promoting the cause of human rights in China. In recent years social organizations are developing in a healthy and orderly way, demonstrating their further positive role in safeguarding and promoting the cause of human rights. By the end of 2012, there were 492,000 social organizations registered in accordance with the law, among which 268,000 were social groups, 221,000 were NGOs and 2,961 were foundations. The number of social organizations across the country had increased by 14.2 percent from 431,000 at the end of 2009; and the number of foundations had increased by 60.7 percent from 1,843 in 2009. The number of social organizations for every 10,000 people has increased from 3.2 in 2009 to 3.7 now. Representatives of national associations in China have taken leading posts in 152 international organizations, and became heads of special committees of 25 international organizations and directors of 92 international organizations. Making full use of their advantages, these social organizations are playing an important role in education, science and technology, culture, public health, social management, social welfare and charity work. According to incomplete statistics, over 60,000 industry associations nationwide have more than 20 million members (including individual business owners), 447,364 grassroots senior citizens associations cover the vast urban and rural communities, with 110 million members. Over 40,000 academic societies have kept regular touch with over 5 million experts and scholars, and over 40,000 rural special economic associations are responsible for contacting over 10 million households. There are over 100 million members of various professional associations. In 2012 China's social organizations attracted over 25 million volunteers to participate in charity work.
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