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New Rules Designed to Help 140 Mln Migrant Workers

A soon-to-be-released document for local governments will help 140 million migrant people get access to better housing, medical services and education for their children, a senior official said Tuesday.

"All local governments should incorporate the document's new measures for the migrant population into their economic and social development plans," Zhang Xinfeng, vice minister of public security, said yesterday at the meeting of the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security, which reviewed the document draft.

Under the new measures, governments will:

Be responsible for educating the children of migrant workers in their adopted homes.

Build dorms for migrant workers to improve their living conditions.

Encourage migrant workers to obtain insurance cover for work and basic medical care.

Provide them with the same free services available to the registered population in areas such as infectious disease prevention and treatment, children's vaccination and maternity care.

Gradually commit to giving migrant workers in stable employment the opportunity for permanent residency status.

Migrant people have to register for temporary residency when they move to a city. However they do not have access to education for their children and some free medical services.

Official figures show there are currently about 140 million migrant people across the country, roughly 10 percent of the total population.

(China Daily November 21, 2007)

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