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State Council policies for vulnerable groups in 2016

Updated: Dec 26,2016 11:22 AM

This year, the State Council carried out a series of policies to improve the lives of impoverished people, left-behind children, and disabled people.

As Premier Li Keqiang once said, the essential obligation of government is to improve people’s lives.

Some of the related policies laid out by the State Council in 2016:

Medical aid for the impoverished

Approved by the State Council, 15 departments including the National Health and Family Planning Commission jointly issued a plan in June aimed at providing basic medical service to people in poor regions, reducing individual medical costs, controlling the development of serious pandemic and endemic diseases, improving the average life expectancy and lowering maternal and infant mortalities.

Relief for the impoverished

In February, the State Council issued a circular concerning the improvement of the relief system for impoverished people.

According to the circular, the elderly, disabled people, and adolescents under the age of 16 - who are incapable to work but lack legal guardians - will be included in the impoverished relief system, which will provide them with basic living substances such as food, clothing, and bedding.

Favorable environment for vulnerable children

Premier Li Keqiang once said that children in hardship are the most vulnerable social group.

On June 1, the State Council issued a circular to provide support with living, healthcare, education, and custody to orphans and impoverished and disabled children.

Care for left-behind children

In February, the State Council issued a circular stipulating local governments’ duties in taking care of rural children whose parents have gone to work in urban areas.

Efforts will be made to improve service, relief and protection systems for the left-behind children, according to the circular.

Happier life for disabled people

In August, the State Council set out a plan to further improve the lives of disabled people, which is regarded as an essential part of constructing a moderately prosperous society.

According to the plan, efforts will be made to improve public protection and service systems and increase family income of disabled people.

In addition, the State Council issued a plan to promote rehabilitation and fitness public facilities for disabled people.

Lawful status of non-registered citizens

On Jan 14, the State Council issued a plan to improve the household registration system by helping people without “hukou”, or official residence, get lawful status.

“Hukou-less” citizens, including people who were born outside the former one-child family planning policy or without medical birth certificates, will be registered.