China is simplifying legal aid procedures for migrant workers so that they can get help in a timely manner.
Legal aid departments no longer examine the migrant worker's financial status before giving aid, and offer aid in cases involving multiple workers once applications are filed, according to a national conference on legal aid held Tuesday.
Statistics from the Legal Aid Center under the Ministry of Justice show that more than 40,000 cases involving migrant workers were handled via legal aid, and that 90 percent of the cases were won.
"We will treat migrant workers as priority legal aid beneficiaries and take various measures to make sure they get timely help," said Jia Wuguang, director of the center.
The legal problems of migrant workers usually involve labor disputes, physical injuries and domestic disputes, the center said.
With the help of the provincial legal aid department, more than 100 farmers who had worked abroad were recently able to receive overdue wages and return to their hometown Chengdu, in China's southwestern Sichuan Province.
More and more migrant workers are using legal aid to protect their rights, said Li Can, director of the Sichuan provincial legal aid department.
Legal aid is a key system for protecting the rights of disadvantaged people. The central government spent 310 million yuan (US$38 million) last year on legal aid, according to Zhao Dacheng, vice minister of the Ministry of Justice.
(Xinhua News Agency July 27, 2006)