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(Mar 02, 2008) On February 26, 2008, the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress instituted discussion of draft amendments to the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons, which entered in force on May 15, 1991. The proposed changes include: establishing and improving a system of rehabilitation services for the disabled; setting up educational institutions and providing financial support for the disabled as well as for the children of poor disabled parents; creating more public welfare jobs and providing free employment services for the disabled; adopting relief measures for the disabled poor by guaranteeing subsistence allowances for urban residents. Other draft amendments call for improved facilities and the creation of an environment friendly to the handicapped, clarify penalties for infringement of disabled persons' rights and interests, and declare that the right of the disabled to play a role in state affairs and social life should be guaranteed, including the right to be heard in the formulation of laws, regulations, and policies that concern them. The draft revised Law also lifts a ban against guide dogs entering public places, in conformity with China's pledge to permit the practice in connection with the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games, but stipulates that relevant regulations should be observed. An estimated 83 million people, or over six percent of the population, in China are disabled. It is reported that more than 75 percent of them live in the countryside. (China to Change Law to Better Protect Disabled, CHINA VIEW, Feb. 26, 2008, available at; China Approves Draft Law Revision on Protection of the Disabled, CHINA VIEW, Jan. 23, 2008, available at; see also Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo canji ren baozhang fa [Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Disabled Persons] (in Chinese), Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China Web site, Aug. 4, 2005; Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Disabled Persons, China Disabled Persons' Federation Web site, (last visited Mar. 6, 2008).)

In a related move, on January 15, 2008, the Shenzhen municipal government issued a regulation that will provide an annual 20 million yuan (about US$2.74 million) in social insurance subsidies to the city's roughly 50,000 disabled residents. Those eligible for benefits are divided into four groups – the employed disabled, the unemployed disabled, disabled persons living on government welfare, and the severely disabled, with the amount of the subsidy to be based on the extent of the disability, employment status, and family income. (SZ Pledges 20 mln Yuan Yearly for Disabled, CHINA VIEW, Jan. 18, 2008, available at

Author: Wendy Zeldin More by this author
Topic: Education More on this topic
Jurisdiction: China More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 03/02/2008