Opinion / Opinion Line

Safeguard the rights of those living in extreme poverty

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-25 08:02

Safeguard the rights of those living in extreme poverty

Children of Se ethnic group sit in front of a monument that reads "China's No. 1 Poverty Relief Village" at Chixi Village, Panxi town, Fuding city in East China’s Fujian province, Feb 14. The village has shaken off poverty thanks to assistance from Party and government officials at all levels over the past 30 years. [Photo/Xinhua]

At least 70 million people are still living in "extreme poverty" in China, according to official data. Further, a recent Xinhua News Agency report featured real living conditions in poverty-stricken areas. The report revealed that in one village, 1,100 of the 1,200 residents were illiterate and the villagers only had meat to eat only three times a year. Comments:

The poverty shown in the Xinhua report means the programs to aid the poor over the past decades have failed. In order to heal the ills of extreme poverty, the right prescription lies in not only offering subsidies to those living in poverty, but also improving infrastructure, strengthening education, and offering training programs so that they can earn a sustainable living. Of course, it is necessary to strengthen disciplinary supervision in the process so that investments in infrastructure construction are not embezzled by local bureaucrats.

Beijing News, June 24

The poorer residents are, the more difficult it is for them to express their needs and make society hear their voices. The voices of residents from poor areas are often ignored even though modern society has convenient means for them to express themselves. It is important to attract social attention to their problems first so as to rally enough resources to help them.

Changjiang News, June 24

Had Xinhua journalists not visited these places, would people know that the extreme poverty exists in the country? The fact is many county-level officials deny the existence of poverty in their jurisdictions for fear their image will be tainted. There have been examples of local officials preventing journalists from reporting on poverty-stricken villages. These shameless officials should be dismissed first so as to root out poverty.

Qilu Evening News, June 24

India-born Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has pointed out, it is poverty in rights that causes economic poverty; that applies to China. Being restricted by discriminative policies such as residence registration and lack of social security, domestic farmers are not allowed to freely move to a place where they can find a job with higher salaries, while their children's right to education is not protected. Helping people escape from poverty means protecting their rights first.

New Culture newspaper, June 24

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