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Network Launched to Provide Free Legal Aid for Migrant Workers

A network of lawyers offices providing free legal aid to rural migrant laborers will be launched after the Chinese New Year.

The one-year program, with a budget of more than US$500,000 provided by the Belgium government, was jointly launched by the UNDP China office, the All-China Lawyers' Association and the China International Center of Economic and Technical Exchange under the Ministry of Commerce.

The program is expected to draw more qualified lawyers to help the laborers and better protect their legitimate rights and interests.

It aims to train lawyers and help them set up legal aid centers in 15 provinces. Seven such offices already exist.

UNDP China office said every year in China more than 120 million migrants seek work in urban centers. Lacking adequate legal knowledge and resources, many find themselves in difficulty if they are faced with conflict and forced to protect their rights.

The government has enhanced protection of rights and interests of migrant rural laborers in recent years to promote social harmony.

(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2007)

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