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Full Text: National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010) (9)
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13:57, April 13, 2009

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(8) Safeguarding farmers' rights and interests

China will make great efforts to break the dual structure of urban and rural systems, speed up the construction of a new countryside and safeguard farmers' legitimate rights and interests.

- Guaranteeing farmers' land right. The government has made it a point to confirm and register rural land and issue land-right certificates, protect farmers' right to own and use their land and obtain profits from the land, and punish any actions violating the regulations on land management. The market for circulating the right to contract and manage land will be improved, where the farmers can turn over their land-use and contract rights by means of subcontract, lease, interchange or transfer, or by joining stock cooperatives, following the principle of voluntariness and with compensation. Overall reform of the collective forest ownership system is expected to make headway, aiming to ensure that farmers have equal right to manage collective forest land under contract and to ensure their status as the main player of operation.

- Protecting farmers' usufructuary right to their homesteads. On the principles of having a strict and efficient administration, raising efficiency and making it convenient for and beneficial to the people, the management of farmers' homesteads will be strengthened to better suit farmers' needs in their house construction. The examination and approval procedure for homesteads will be standardized and simplified, and made open through public bulletins to get the supervision of the villagers. Supervision over the distribution and use of homesteads in rural areas will be reinforced to raise the efficiency of homestead utilization in rural areas.

- Reforming the land requisition system by strictly defining land for public use and land for business purposes, gradually reducing the scope of land requisition and improving the compensation mechanism for land requisitioned. The requisition of collective land in rural areas in accordance with the law should follow the principle of same price for the same land, paying in full and in a timely manner reasonable compensation to the collective or farmers whose lands have been requisitioned. Meanwhile, the farmers' employment, housing and social security problems should be addressed properly. Farmers are allowed to take part in, in accordance with the law, the development and management of collective land used for non-public-welfare purposes that is not included in the overall land-use plan for urban construction.

- Raising farmers' income level. The Chinese government will increase the subsidies for grain-producing farmers by relatively a large margin each year, improving the dynamic mechanism for adjusting the comprehensive subsidies for agricultural production means in association with their price hikes. Efforts will be made to improve the price-forming mechanism for grain and other major agricultural products, as well as the protection system for the prices of agricultural products, and the regulatory system of the agricultural product market by steadily raising the minimum grain-purchase prices. The state will improve the methods of protecting the prices of other major agricultural products, and keep the prices of agricultural products at a reasonable level.

- Promoting equality between urban and rural areas in availability of basic public services. This will help balance the distribution of public resources between urban and rural areas, and enable the free flow of elements of production. A rural credit guarantee system is to be set up with government support, multi-party participation and market operation, and efforts will be made to accelerate the building of a mechanism for agricultural reinsurance that can split the risks of major disasters. The government will also speed up the building of a unified urban-rural human resources market to help farmers find jobs away from their hometowns or in non-agricultural employment within their regions, or setting up businesses after returning to their hometowns.

- Improving farmers' health. By 2010, a new rural cooperative medical care system will cover virtually all the rural residents. Every township will have a government-run hospital, and every administrative village will have a clinic. Rural grassroots health and hygiene work will be strengthened to ensure that the pass rate of health and hygiene work at grassroots level reaches 80 percent in every county. China plans to solve the drinking water problem for 120 million people in rural areas in the period 2009-2010. This will make drinking water safe in villages that are now moderately or seriously haunted by fluorine, arsenic or schistosomes. To this end, the government will work out the 2010-2013 Plan for the Nationwide Safe Drinking Water Project in Rural Areas.

- Strengthening the protection of the rights and interests of rural migrant workers. Equal treatment for migrant workers and urban resident workers will be gradually realized in terms of payment, skill training, etc., and the treatment of the migrant workers regarding their children's education, public hygiene, as well as renting and purchasing of houses will be improved step by step. Working conditions of migrant workers will be improved, and coverage of industry-related injury insurance, medical care insurance and old age pension for migrant workers will be expanded. Methods for migrant workers underwriting basic old-age insurance policies will be formulated and implemented as soon as possible. Efforts will be made to push forward the reform of the household registration system to gradually relax the requirements for settling down in small and medium-sized cities.

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