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Law Required to Promote Employment, Says NPC Deputy

A law on employment promotion is in urgent need to cope with stark situation in China's job market and guarantee its healthy development, said a deputy to the on-going National Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), or China's top legislature, in Beijing.

Zheng Gongcheng, vice-president of the Labor and Personnel Institute of the prestigious People's University of China in Beijing, said on Wednesday that an employment pressure will constitutes a major issue in the country.

Up to 10 million youths reach the age of employment in China annually, a vast force of rural surplus laborers in their hundreds of millions shift to the non-farming sectors, and more than 14 million off-job workers in urban areas are awaiting re-employment, explained Zheng, posed a long-term, tremendous pressure on the employment market.

The Constitution is imbued citizens with the right and obligation to work, but there is not any specific law to guarantee that, Zheng acknowledged. And the existing Labor Law, though a law enacted in this regard, does not have the function of boosting employment, he added.

Zheng said that in enacting an employment promoting law, the lawmakers could draw upon China's pro-employment policies issued in the past and the relevant laws and regulations in the United States, Russia, Germany and other countries.

The law should include stipulations in the following areas, noted Zheng, namely, the workers' basic rights to seeking jobs, making employment one of the gauges for the performance of administrative organs, ensuring unemployment security and the creation of a fair job market.

(People's Daily March 13, 2003)

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