China has urged all city governments of county level and above to set up shelters for vagrants and beggars living in urban areas.
The move was aimed at guaranteeing the basic living rights of this group of people and a major step China has taken to improve its social relief system.
The regulations on aiding and managing vagrants and beggars in urban areas was adopted by the 12th executive meeting of the StateCouncil on June 18, 2003.
The regulations will become effective on August 1.
The regulations consist of 18 articles, covering the principles for helping and managing vagrants and beggars, the establishment and management of shelters, the kind of help offered, regulations governing the behavior of workers at shelters, and punishment for those who violate relevant stipulations.
The regulations urge city governments to take active steps and act quickly to help those who live a vagrant life in urban areas.
In order to secure the smooth operation of the relief work, authorities are required to include necessary funds in their financial budget.
Social institutions and individuals are also encouraged to helpvagrants and beggars.
Vagrants and beggars who seek help are also required to abide by the law and those who violate laws will be dealt with accordingto law.
Former regulations on dealing with vagrants and beggars, issued by the State Council on May 12, 1982, will be abolished from August 1.
(Xinhua News Agency June 23, 2003)