The government yesterday pledged continuous efforts to help the
country's 60 million-plus disabled people share equal development
opportunities with able-bodied counterparts and achieve greater
Disabled people are still one of the most vulnerable groups in the
country, with thousands unemployed and poverty rates worse than the
national average, said Chairman of the China Disabled Persons'
Federation (CDPF) Deng Pufang yesterday, marking the opening of the
fourth congress of the federation.
President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Venus Ilagan,
chairperson of Disabled Peoples' International, also attended the
Vice-Premier Huang Ju delivered a speech at the meeting, promising
that the government will give more supports to the disabled
Deng told the meeting that the government will devote the first two
decades of this century to improving the basic conditions of
disabled people and protect their basic rights.
one sentence, the development of disabled people should parallel
that of others in China, he said.
Deng also disclosed yesterday that the country is working on the
Provisions for the Protection of the Employment of Disabled
Moreover, the federation will step up its efforts for the
occupational training of more disabled people.
Thanks to the help from the government and the persistent efforts
of the disabled people themselves, as many as 84 per cent of the
country's disabled population were employed by the end of the year
For the first time in the nation's history, the central labour
authority awarded the honour of Technical Expert, the highest
honour China awards to its outstanding labourers, to 23 disabled
persons last month.
addition to helping capable disabled people to stand on their own,
Deng promised social security and healthcare for all "jobless and
poverty-stricken'' disabled persons in the near future.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan delivered a message
marking the congress, praising China's efforts in assisting its
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
Pacific also sent a message to congratulate the congress, in which
it places the Chinese Government among the strongest supporters of
the elaboration process of an international convention to protect
and promote the rights and dignity of people with disabilities.
(China Daily September 9, 2003)