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Revised elderly people's welfare law goes into effect

English.news.cn   2013-07-02 10:57:25            

BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhuanet) -- A revised version of the elderly people's welfare law is now in effect in China.

The revised Law for the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly has already begun to trigger wide-spread debate as to whether it's appropriate for the government to meddle in families personal affairs.

Others point out many elderly people here in China are in dire need of more support and care.

As of last year, elderly people who are living separately from their younger families surpassed 62 million here in China.

This means 1 in 3 seniors here in China live apart from their family.

Dang Junwu is the deputy dean at the Institute of China Aging Populations Studies.

"Senior citizens have needs to be taken care of. Attention from society is very important, but what they most crave is the love and care from their family. From a legislative point of view, it is necessary to provide legal support to what we see as a great social need."

Such ideas are considered more understandable in a country which has a massive floating population of young people looking for work.

The new law does take this into effect, giving relief for migrant workers who don't have the means to visit their elderly parents more often.

Zuo Xuejin is the President of the Gerontological Society of Shanghai.

"More visits from the family members call for more policy support from the government. Ideally, the government should facilitate by giving more freedom to those migrant workers in terms of their labor mobility and their housing rights in cities. But to start with, they should at least be given more leave to be able to make those visits back home."

The revised law also requires employers to ensure employees whose parents live far away to have up to 20 days of paid home leave.

Aside from making it a requirement for children to make more visits home, the law also gives more guarantees to the rights and protection of parents who already live with family members.

Under the new law, domestic abuse of elderly people and deliberate ignorance will come with stronger punishment.

As of the end of 2011, there were 185 million people at or above the age of 60, which is just under 14-percent of the country's total population.

(Source: CRIENGLISH.com)

Editor: Lu Hui
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