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National campaign to send street children home

(Xinhua)

08:56, December 27, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- China has launched a one-year inter-agency national campaign aiming to return most street children home, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) said Monday.

The MCA will lead the campaign, which is joined by the ministries of education, public security, financial, health, human resources and social security, and housing and urban-rural development, an MCA statement said.

"We will try our best to identify most street children in cities and send them home by the end of 2012," the statement said.

Minister Li Liguo of Civil Affairs said, ministries concerned should strengthen communication and coordination, and speed up the revision of regulations on the relief of city beggars and vagrants.

The MCA also urged provincial governments to set up special offices coordinating the campaign. Several provinces, such as Hebei and Yunnan, have been working on this, the statement said.

Police will step up their efforts to identify and rescue street children who wander near railway stations, major tourist sites, business areas and subway stops, while civil affairs departments will assist investigation and provide shelter for homeless children, the statement said.

Urban communities and neighborhoods are asked by the ministry to report homeless children to local police. Police and civil affairs departments will cooperate to ascertain the whereabouts of their parents or guardians.

In home places of street children, education departments are urged to send them to schools or vocational schools, and those from needy families will have their tuition reduced or waived.

Health departments are required to offer street children easy access to medical facilities in emergency cases. Hospitals listed in the campaign will treat sick street children free of charge.

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