Full Text: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2014 (12)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-6-8 10:54:38

Subsistence security of children living in difficult circumstances strengthened. The Ministry of Civil Affairs has issued the Opinions on Regulating the Adoption of Children with Extremely Indigent Biological Parents and of Abandoned Orphans, Measures for the Management of Families with Children Entrusted to Their Care, Opinions on Establishing a Guiding Mechanism for Charitable Deeds Concerning Children, and other regulatory documents, explored the provision of classified security for children living in difficult circumstances, pushed forward a pilot program of a moderate general preferential welfare system for children, and encouraged the public to join in philanthropic activities for children. The subsistence allowances for orphans were continuously increased. The central budget allocated 2.3 billion yuan in addition to the financial provision of local governments to cover the basic cost of living for orphans, benefiting 557,000 orphans and 5,200 HIV-affected children nationwide.

Woman and child health care service improved. The National Health and Family Planning Commission made 2014 "Woman and Child Health Care Service Year," kicking off a campaign to provide high-quality health care service for women and children. In-patient childbirth subsidies were granted to rural women. Rural women received free cervical cancer and breast cancer screening examinations practices that had been continued for years. In 2014 some 10 million and 1.2 million rural women, respectively, had such free examinations, and 10,362 women patients with financial difficulties each received 10,000 yuan of aid on average.

The government went ahead with free pre-pregnancy physical examinations, which covered more than 80 percent of the targeted women in 2014. Common diseases, frequently-occurring diseases afflicting women and children were effectively prevented and cured. The mother-to-child transmission rate of AIDS dropped to 6.3 percent. The occurrence of serious anemia among pregnant or lying-in women, of low-birth-weight infants, and of malnutrition among children all declined. The central budget allocated 2.162 billion yuan of special subsidies to support 552,000 orphans and 5,226 HIV-infected children.

The "pilot program of nutrition improvement for infants in poverty-stricken areas" had spread to 300 counties in 21 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government by the end of 2014, and the "act to eliminate anemia among infants" benefited 150,000 babies. Some 500 million yuan and 159 million yuan, respectively, were spent on nutrition improvement of children and disease-screening examinations of newborns in contiguous poverty-stricken areas. Free nutrition packages were provided to 1.37 million infants aged six to 24 months, and screening for phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism and hearing loss was conducted for 1.325 million newborns. Some 10,000 children suffering congenital heart disease in Tibet Autonomous Region received free treatment.

Rights and interests of senior citizens guaranteed. The government continued to implement the 12th Five-Year Plan for Helping Senior Citizens and 12th Five-Year Plan for the System of Old-age Services (both 2011-2015), Opinions of the State Council on Accelerating Old-age Services and Opinions on Improving Care for Senior Citizens. Shandong, Hebei, Guangdong and Hainan provinces, and Shanghai have drawn up their own regulations regarding the protection of the rights and interests of senior citizens, special care for them, and management of nursing homes. In these provinces and the city of Shanghai, allowances were provided for senior citizens over a certain age, and old-age service subsidies were issued to the elderly in financial difficulties.

Information platforms for the elderly have been set up in more than 60 counties, cities and municipal districts in 25 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government, benefiting 20 million elderly people. Home care and community services now cover 70 percent and 37 percent, respectively, of the elderly population.

The basic pension benefits for enterprise retirees have been increasing for 10 years in a row, with the per capita monthly amount being raised from 647 yuan in 2004 to 2,050 yuan in 2014. From July 2014 the lowest monthly basic amount of the pension insurance for rural and urban non-working residents was raised from 55 yuan to 70 yuan per person, for which the central budget allocated 12 billion yuan as additional subsidies, benefiting 143 million rural and urban non-working residents.

The central budget provided 2.5 billion yuan to improve the conditions of welfare institutions and rural nursing homes to satisfy the needs of senior people in difficulties. By the end of 2014 the number of nursing home beds nationwide had reached 26 for every 1,000 senior citizens, and over 88.8 percent of the Chinese over 65 years old had been incorporated into the health management system. One billion yuan from the central special lottery public welfare fund was provided to 33,300 rural nursing homes.

Non-governmental organizations of senior citizens received support. By the end of 2014 China had 490,000 community-level associations of senior citizens and nearly 20 million senior volunteers. There were 2,137 legal assistance centers offering timely services for the elderly. In 2014 judicial and administrative agencies handled 113,000 cases of legal assistance for the elderly and provided legal consultations to more than 340,000 senior people. (more)

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