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China to amend law to better protect disabled
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20:39, April 22, 2008

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Chinese lawmakers are expected to adopt a legal amendment to better protect the rights and interests of the disabled in the run-up to Beijing 2008 Paralympics in September.

Legislators on Tuesday discussed for the second time the draft amendment of the Law on Protection of the Disabled at the second session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC). The amended law, if adopted, will be put into effect on July 1, 2008.

The draft will add details about stable financial support, better medical care and rehabilitation for the disabled, and favorable jobs and tax policies.

Governments at county level or above should provide stable funding and draw up annual plans to help the disabled, said the amendment.

It also gave priority to emergency treatment and rehabilitation for disabled children, while "encouraging renovation in research, development and application of rehabilitation technology to better serve the disabled."

The amendment also said that government and social organizations, enterprises and non-government organizations should have a quota of disabled people on their payroll, and should contribute to the disabled in other aspects if they failed to meet the quota.

In addition to favorable taxation policies, the government will also stop levying administrative fees from self-employed disabled people, the draft said.

"No-one can force the disabled into labor using violence, threats or depriving them of their personal freedom," the latest revision said.

The draft, a revision of a 1991 law, was drawn up to "tackle new circumstances and problems" cropping up amid economic and social advances, said Civil Affairs Minister Li Xueju.

The amendment was approved by the State Council in January, and underwent its first discussion in February at the 32nd session of the 10th NPC Standing Committee.

Statistics show China has about 83 million disabled people, accounting for 6.34 percent of the population, and more than 75 percent of the disabled live in rural areas.


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