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BEIJING - Chinese authorities on Thursday underlined the need to help rural migrant workers become urban residents, calling it an important task for the country's urbanization, according to its first policy document for 2013.
To promote urbanization, especially concerning migrant workers, China will put forward reforms of its household registration system, loosening requirements for obtaining residency permits in small and medium-sized cities and small townships, the document said.
The country also vowed more efforts in providing professional training for migrant workers, ensuring their social security and protecting their rights and interests, according to the document.
Migrant workers should enjoy equal rights and benefits in payments, education of their children, public health, housing and cultural services, the document said. It added that authorities will work to extend basic public services to all permanent residents in cities.
The central government also urged more serious attention be given to the left-behind population, namely children, women and old people in rural areas after their family members go to work in cities.
Local authorities at all levels as well as the public should guarantee the rights and safety of the left-behind population with support, help and care, said the document.
The first policy document, issued by the central committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council every year, is dubbed the No 1 central document. This is the 10th consecutive year in which the document has focused on rural issues.
Chinese official data showed that the country's migrant worker population amounted to 253 million by the end of 2011, among which 159 million were working away from their homes.
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