The first local government bureau in China to specifically serve the migrant population will be set up early next month in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.
"We are setting up the bureau for migrants who gained the official name of 'New Dongguanese' in April to make them feel more at home," Party secretary of Dongguan, Liu Zhigeng, was quoted by Dongguan Daily newspaper as saying on Tuesday.
The bureau's director, Lun Jinhong, said it will start operations on November 6.
With a philosophy of "limitless service", the bureau will draft new policies to give substantial benefits to the migrants in the fields of social security, employment, children's schooling and medical insurance, Lun said.
Latest government figures show that 5.2 million New Dongguanese are working in the city, which is located between Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
They account for about 95 percent of the city's total industrial workers.
"The ultimate goal of my bureau is to see that the New Dongguanese are given the same treatment as other citizens," Lun said.
Currently, the bureau is working on issuing a new type of "service card", for migrant workers.
The card will contain basic information of the cardholder, including name, ID number, address, working place and medical insurance.
"Some migrants involved in accidents have died because of the lack of timely medical treatment. Hospitals were not able to get adequate information about their medical insurance. Such tragedies will be avoided in the future," Lun said.
He said the bureau is seeking the cooperation of a mobile phone operator in Dongguan to give free information to cardholders on schools, weather, traffic, and job vacancies.
The migrant workers' bureau will gradually expand its cooperation with more service providers in the city for the benefit of the migrants.
(China Daily October 15, 2008)