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China mulls regulations for orphanages

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-17 17:08

BEIJING - The Chinese government on Friday released a draft of basic requirements for orphanages in order to standardize their practices and close safety loopholes.

The draft, released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, clarifies standard practices related to hygiene, medical care, education and safety measures in orphanages.

Orphanages should minimize potential risks that could cause injury, create emergency plans for medical or food poisoning incidents and conduct emergency drills regularly, the draft says.

Safety risks should be eradicated in children's living areas, according to the draft.

The document also provides calls for greater efforts to maintain hygiene, such as giving each child regular haircuts and showers.

The ministry said the requirements are intended to improve service and make orphanages more standardized and professional.

The draft will be online to solicit public opinions until May 31.

China's orphanages, especially private ones, often experience tragic incidents. In the most recent case, a fire in an unlicensed orphanage killed six children and one 20-year-old man in central China's Henan Province on January 4.

Figures released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs indicate that China has about 615,000 orphans. Just 109,000 of them live in government-funded agencies, while the rest are cared for by relatives or private orphanages.

Currently, 878 non-government-affiliated agencies are housing 9,394 orphans, according to the ministry.

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