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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Job barrier biggest for disabled

By He Dan (China Daily)

08:46, March 26, 2012

Lei Zhigang (second left), who has difficulty walking, is one of 105 people with disabilities who have been given jobs as librarians across Gao'an county, East China's Jiangxi province, as part of a local government program launched last year. Each person also gets a monthly subsidy of 300 yuan. (Xinhua/Zhou Ke)

Internet could provide best hope for work opportunities

A lack of job opportunities is still the biggest complaint among people with disabilities in China, despite continued efforts by NGOs and policymakers to boost employment.

Data provided by the China Disabled Persons' Federation, the country's top disabled rights organization, show that the organization received about 17,000 letters, calls and visits from people last year.

"Difficulties in finding employment was the top issue for those in urban areas, and was among the three major challenges identified by those in rural areas," said Bo Shaoye, the federation's director of rights protection.

About 83 million people in China are believed to have some form of disability. Yet, "in 2010 the unemployment rate among this group was 8.6 percent", Bo said, twice as high as the national rate.

The law states that disabled people should make up at least 1.5 percent of the workforce in all government departments, NGOs, enterprises and institutions.

Although provincial-level authorities can set the ratio depending on their conditions, a report released this year by Beijing Yirenping Center, a NGO that fights job discrimination, suggested that almost 50 authorities in 30 large and medium-sized cities are failing to meet the quota.

For example, in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, just one of 6,000 new recruits since 2004 was registered disabled, according to the report.

Statistics provided by the Beijing Disabled Persons' Federation on Wednesday show that only 15,000 out of 600,000 employers in the capital's government departments are people with disabilities, which is also falling short of the requirement.

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