China has almost achieved the goals set in the "National Program of Action for Child Development in China in the 1990s" and those established by the World Summit for Children, says a national report released by the Women and Children's Work Committee of the State Council.
The 32-page report on child development in China covers the fields of background, actions at national level, detailed actions, main experiences, problems and future actions, with an appendix of figures about China's goals for child development.
Governments at all levels in China have continuously poured investment into children's education and health care, the report says, and China has made efforts to fulfill all the obligations specified in the "Convention on the Rights of the Child" to ensure that all children enjoy equal rights of survival, development, participation and protection.
Chinese girls' rights were well protected and women's social status were promoted during 1990s, as China views the equality between men and women as one of its national policies, according to the report.
Statistics in the report show that child welfare institutions all over China have cared over 47,000 children so far. Nine "SOS" villages have either been completed or are in the process of construction at present. In addition, there are nearly 10,000 rehabilitation centers, stations or classes, and 127 street children protection stations in China.
The enrollment rate of primary schools had reached 99.1 percent by the year 2000, and the rate for girls was 99.07 percent. China also managed to provide better living conditions for child development by protecting natural resources and the environment, says the report.
China's progress in child development should be attributed to the government's efforts for widely social mobilization and international cooperation, according to the report.
China still faces challenges in this regard, including the disparities in child development among different regions and difficulties in the fields of health care and education, the report emphasizes.
The report reveals that China has finished the draft of the new national program for child development for the next ten years, which sets clear goals and puts forward strategies and measures for ensuring children's rights of survival, protection, development and participation.
The new national program will act as a guideline for national action in the sphere of child development, and Chinese children will have a bright future after all these goals are realized, the report says.
The Women and Children's Work Committee of the State Council was set up in 1990 to improve the status of women and promote child development.
(People's Daily 05/14/2001)