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UN Report Applauds Progress in Disabled Rights
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Yesterday, a report made by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) acknowledged progress in China regarding disabled people's rights, despite many outstanding problems.

"Together with the central government, China Disabled Person's Federation (CDPF) has made remarkable improvements in the quality of life of persons with disabilities," according to the report, and the employment rate of disabled people has reached 84 percent in urban areas.
It was discussed at a workshop co-hosted by UNESCAP and Chengdu Disabled People's Federation in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, which opened on August 16 and ended on Thursday.

It also said laws to protect the rights of the country's 60 million disabled people have been enacted and relief allowances and preferential loans established.
Although achievements have been made, there is still a long way to go to provide more pragmatic and compassionate services, said Lu Shiming, vice president of the CDPF, the country's largest non-governmental disable people's organization.
"There is unbalanced development between regions and not all disabled people can enjoy the favorable policies of the government," said Lu. "We are planning to build, within five years, a network comprising all grassroots organizations for disabled people."
Venus Ilagan, chairwoman of Disabled Persons International, said she is expecting the fulfillment of the plan and believes that China will play a pioneering role in this field.
Founded in 1988, CDPF provides services at central, provincial, city, county and township levels.
In urban areas, nearly 100,000 associations have been set up in communities and companies, promoting the legal rights of the disabled people, providing services including health, education, employment, poverty-alleviation and legal aid.
Lu said CDPF has also made attempts to establish disabled-oriented organizations in 37 counties last year for disabled people in rural areas to receive equal treatment.
(CRI August 19, 2005)

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