BEIJING — China’s State Council carried out new measures to better protect vulnerable children on June 1, International Children’s Day.
A new document on the measures was discussed during the State Council’s executive meeting, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.
“Children living in extremely difficult circumstances need special care and protection,” the Premier said at the meeting. “The government should work to build a safety net to better protect these children.”
He was referring to children who endure harsh living conditions because of family poverty, health problems, and lack of parental custody, as well as those who were abducted. Major problems faced by these children include severe poverty, and lack of medical treatment and education.
The newly released document introduced specific requirements for central ministries and local governments in providing comprehensive assistance to these children across a range of aspects.
Such efforts include providing financial aid and special medical coverage. Local governments are urged to fully implement compulsory education and guarantee the fulfillment of custodian responsibilities for the children.
“Protecting children in difficult conditions is an important part of our efforts to build a moderately prosperous society, as well as a social safety net that leaves no one unprotected,” the Premier said.
He added that the government needs to fulfill its duty in protecting children in difficulty, and further improve and revise its legislation and policies in this regard.
Raising subsidies and providing better protection for children living in difficult circumstances was an idea raised by the premier in his government work report that was delivered in March 2015.
During the meeting on June 1, the Premier also called for social efforts in creating a good environment that gives more protection and care to these children.
The new document, an update of its previous version released in 2014, also called on the whole society to work with the government in child protection.