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13.4% of Migrant Workers Insured

A total of 26.8 million migrant workers had work injury insurance in China by the end of March, 1.43 million more than at the end of last year, said a spokesman with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security on Thursday.


However, this progress is still small since the current figure represents only around 13.4 percent of the national migrant worker total, leaving over 170 million adrift without insurance.


Medical insurance covers even fewer workers, reaching only 24.1 million, said the ministry spokesman Yin Chengji, adding that China will maintain its push for extended coverage.


In May 2006, the Chinese government launched a nationwide three-year program to see all migrants working in high-risk sectors like coal mining and construction covered by work insurance. However, no figures have been forthcoming regarding any progress made under this plan.


Yin also said the ministry assisted 1.5 million migrant workers across 27 provinces in retrieving 1.74 billion yuan (US$223 million) in unpaid wages in the first quarter of this year.


(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2007)

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