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Senior Official Calls for Protection of Migrant Workers' Rights

China's State Council, the cabinet, held an inter-ministerial meeting Tuesday to discuss the issue of protecting the rights and interests of migrant workers from the countryside.

State-Councilor Hua Jianmin addressed the meeting.

According to the official, local governments have worked hard to deal with problems concerning migrant workers by setting up a regular mechanism to protect their rights and interests, including a system to guarantee the migrant workers get their pay on time.

Meanwhile, local governments have made great efforts to ask the employers to sign labor contracts with migrant workers and provide professional training to them.

Thanks to the government efforts, migrant workers in the country are now enjoying better safety and medicare as progress has been made in providing these people with insurance for work-related injury and serious diseases, according to Hua.

Currently, the government has adopted the policies on the schooling of the children of migrant workers who are working in cities, while the government has made further efforts to provide them with services in the fields of disease control, family planning, and rights protection.

There has been an increasing number of migrant workers have returned to their hometowns to set up their own businesses.

The public understanding, care and protection of the rights of migrant workers from rural areas have kept on increasing, Hua said. He called for further strengthening professional training of rural transients, making substantial efforts to protect their legal rights, and improving public services for them in an all-around way.

As the traditional Spring Festival is approaching, the official urged local governments to help guarantee they get their pay timely and completely and ensure a happy and peaceful festival for migrant workers who will either stay in cities or return to their hometown during the holidays.

(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2008)

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