China ramps up efforts to build child-friendly society

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 20, 2021
Adjust font size:
Children take part in a racing game at a kindergarten in Neiqiu County of Xingtai, north China's Hebei Province, June 10, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

With the recent draft regulation, altering the children's discount rail ticket rule to be based on their age rather than height, China's progress in comprehensively building a child-friendly society has once again caught public attention.

The draft, issued by the National Railway Administration in late October, stipulates that children under 6 years of age, instead of 1.2 meters tall, will be eligible for free railway tickets, and those aged 6 to 14 may ride trains at discounted rates.

While the document manages to keep up with the growing height of China's younger generation, many believe that it also reflects the country's adaptability in child-related public services.

For instance, starting from 2019, the basic living subsidies from special government funds for orphans in the eastern, central, and western regions increased by 50%. Thanks to policy assistance during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the country's preschool education has also become more inclusive and affordable.

China has been upholding the principle of putting children first for nearly a decade. It has made every effort to promote children's all-around development by enhancing social security systems, improving healthcare and education services, and advancing child-related legislation.

Back in 2010, China introduced a subsidy system for orphans and abandoned infants. The national outline for the development of children released in 2011 proposed expanding the scope of child welfare services. As of May 31, 2021, 274,000 de facto orphans were covered by state support.

A child's right to health care has also been effectively guaranteed. According to the assessment report on the implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-2015), over 97% of children were vaccinated as part of the national immunization program. The latest data from the National Health Commission also shows that all children in China between 3 and 11 without medical contraindications would likely complete COVID-19 vaccination by the end of this year. 

In addition, compulsory education in the country is becoming even more inclusive as China continues to improve education infrastructure in rural areas, increase school capacity in urban areas, and improve dynamic demographic surveillance of school-age populations. 

The country's latest Human Rights Action Plan (2021-2025), released in September, also stipulates that more efforts will be made to increase the coverage of preschool education, ensure the right of disadvantaged children to education, curb school bullying, and prevent the digital divide in online education.

Given the country's current "double reduction" policy, which is designed to ease students' burden of excessive homework and off-campus tutoring, school children nowadays can have more options to spend their after-school hours.

On the legislation side, in 2021 alone, China revised the Law on the Protection of Minors, adopted the Law on Family Education Promotion, and published the Outline on the Development of Chinese Children (2021-2030) and guidelines on advancing the construction of child-friendly cities. These efforts seek to fully meet children's development needs and improve the inclusiveness of the country's welfare system.

"Teenagers are our future, and efforts concerning the protection of minors are closely related to the growth of teenagers," said Liu Limin, head of China Education Association for International Exchange, on Tuesday at the 2021 Soong Ching Ling International Forum on Children's Development. "The new minors protection law, which takes effect on June 1, provides a legislative and institutional guarantee for our work in this regard."

A photo taken on Nov. 16, 2021, shows students practicing roller-skating at Xinxiguan Primary School in Neiqiu County of Xingtai City, north China's Hebei Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from