The 1st Forum on Development of China's Cause of the Handicapped was held today in Beijing. According to Cheng Kai, vice chairman of the executive council of China Federation of the Handicapped, in recent 20 years, the population of the handicapped in China had decreased to at least 15 million.
Sponsored by China's State Council Information Office, the Training Class of Human Rights Knowledge for Cadres from CCCPC and State Organs started in Beijing. Over 40 members from central party and state organs and central media took part in this training.
China released today an anti-trafficking plan for curbing human trade in women and children for the next five years. The plan, to be implemented from 2008 to 2012, set a general objective to minimize crimes of trading in women and children and to minimize the physical and psychological pain they suffered. According to the plan, a ministerial-level joint meeting headed by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) would be established and local regions, especially where trafficking cases frequently occur, should set up relevant organs.
Governments at all levels have recovered about 43.32 billion yuan (about 5.9 billion U.S. dollars) for migrant workers' back wages since 2003. The figure was revealed today by Sun Baoshu, Vice Minister of Labor and Social Security, in his report to a session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. All levels of the Chinese government have been mobilized to solve the unpaid wage problem, and the State Council issued instructions in 2006 for dealing with the problems migrant workers have encountered. The governments have strengthened supervision of businesses that hire large numbers of migrants and provided more legal advice to the migrants to protect their rights. According to Sun, more than 60 million migrant workers have received free technical training organized by local governments since 2006. Moreover, 36.25 million migrant workers have been covered by workers' compensation plans and 31.96 million have been covered by medical insurance.
Chinese Minister of Civil Affairs Li Xueju said China will continue to improve its social assistance system to enable low-income people to have adequate food and clothing. More than 31 million low-income rural residents and 22 million low-income urban residents receive minimum living allowances, which have risen three times this year to reflect rising costs of daily necessities. While Li noted the progress that had been made in the social assistance system, he also admitted problems existed. "The basic living allowances in both urban and rural areas are still not adjusted in a timely manner to reflect price fluctuations," he said, adding that this situation should be remedied. The minimum living allowance system in rural areas was established this year, 10 years after a similar system was set up in urban areas.