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Full Text: Human Rights in Xinjiang - Development and Progress
June 02,2017   By:Xinhua
The mechanism for protecting the rights of the elderly has constantly improved. To meet the multi-level and diverse healthcare needs of the elderly, the autonomous region promotes the coordinated development of universal and customized services. It has increased coverage of community-based care for the elderly, and has explored day-care for the elderly and other ways within communities. From 2010 to 2016, Xinjiang had invested a total of RMB4.18 billion in building 504 nursing institutions for the aged, RMB430 million in building care centers for elderly people with disabilities and dementia, and RMB81 million in building nursing homes, social welfare institutes, township service and welfare centers, community day-care centers, rural elderly people's homes and other programs. It has also formulated and implemented policies whereby government purchases pension services, and welfare institutions are founded by government but operated privately. By the end of 2016, there were 1,998 social organizations and institutions, 4,328 full-time and part-time personnel, and 47,053 volunteers providing services for the aged. Xinjiang has also set up and improved an old-age network at five levels - autonomous region, city (prefecture), county (county-level city, district), township (residential district) and village (community).
 
Marked progress has been made in the protection of the rights and interests of the disabled. Xinjiang has now 1.07 million people with disabilities. Of these, 225,000 are covered by the subsistence allowances for urban and rural residents, and 298,000 have participated in the basic old-age insurance schemes respectively for urban and rural residents. Personal contributions of the disabled living under the prescribed poverty lines are paid by the government on their behalf. 40,000 people with severe disabilities have been provided with nursing services, and 364,000 impoverished people with disabilities and severe disabilities have been granted living allowances and nursing subsidies. Xinjiang has implemented national key rehabilitation programs and regional rehabilitation, relief and care projects for impoverished disabled people. It now has 168 rehabilitation institutions of various types and 1,738 community rehabilitation centers. By the end of 2016, it had provided rehabilitation treatment and service to 1.14 million recipients, performed 214,300 cataract operations, and distributed 156,900 assistive devices for free. The autonomous region endeavors to build barrier-free environments in cities and counties, and has carried out barrier-free transformation for 25,360 impoverished households with disabled family members. By the end of 2016, 67,000 jobs had been provided to disabled people in urban areas, and 223,000 to those in agricultural and pastoral areas. Colleges and universities generally recruit students with disabilities. In total, 7,537 disabled students are now studying in general elementary and secondary schools, and 2,927 in 29 special education schools. 747 vocational training bases have provided training to a total of 110,000 disabled people in urban and rural areas, and the illiteracy rate of the disabled has dropped from 57 percent in 1987 to today' s 31 percent. Xinjiang has built 358 poverty alleviation bases for the disabled, and has provided support to more than 20,000 people with disabilities to improve their living conditions. The autonomous region and more than half of its cities (prefectures) have developed special broadcasting programs for people with disabilities and TV news programs in sign language, set up 16 Braille and audio book reading rooms for the blind, and built five sports training bases for people with disabilities. In the Beijing Paralympic Games, London Paralympic Games and other major sports events, disabled athletes from Xinjiang have won 201 gold medals, 132 silver ones and 125 bronze ones. Organizations for disabled persons are found in 1,073 townships (residential districts) and 9,207 communities (villages), and 226 legal assistance, coordination and working organizations have provided legal services to 167,564 recipients.
 
The socialist system with Chinese characteristics has provided a solid institutional guarantee to human rights development in Xinjiang; the rapid economic and social development has provided a solid material foundation; and the harmonious and stable political environment has ensured a satisfactory social environment. It is a principle of the Constitution to respect and protect human rights. To promote progress in human rights is the consistent pursuit of all Chinese people, including the ethnic groups of Xinjiang. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government, and with the realization of the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese Dream of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, further improvement will be seen in the protection of human rights in Xinjiang, and all ethnic groups in Xinjiang will be sure to greet a brighter future.