Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

State Council offers big gift to needy kids

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-08 08:02

People's Daily:

Creating an environment for the healthy growth of children is not only a social consensus, but also a practical need for the betterment of society.

The recent news of a mother caught "stealing" a chicken leg, some food grains and two storybooks from a supermarket in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, for her ill daughter sparked extensive online discussions on the basic social security guarantees for needy children.

However, the stories of many children suffering accidental injuries, or being beating up or tortured by adults due to the lack of proper protection have shocked the public. In this sense, the recent State Council meeting presented children in need a big "gift package" in the shape of policy guarantees.

Along with a series of policy documents on children's welfare issued in the past year, including improved pre-school education for left-behind children in rural areas and stricter supervision on vaccines, the recent State Council measure will help build a sound and well-developed social security and welfare system covering all children.

A society's attitude toward its children reflects the degree of its civilization. How to build a complete institutional network for the protection of minors' rights and interests, free children from distress and offer them timely aid should be the responsibility of the entire Chinese society.

The State Council meeting focused on the protection of needy children's rights and interests because some children in China still face safety and social problems, although substantial progress has been made in improving their overall rights and interests.

As the meeting pointed out, to provide social security guarantee for children facing difficulties is not only an important aspect of China's social security mechanism, but also a shared responsibility of the families, the government and society.

Children's health and healthy development are the core yardsticks to judge a society's real development. To offer effective protection to children in need, such as transferring children from the ineffective custody of their legal custodians to welfare homes, is also the basic responsibility of society.

The safety and sustenance concerns some children in remote rural areas face are related to poverty, which underscores the need to accord priority to protection of children's rights and interests in the country's ongoing efforts to alleviate poverty. Only by doing so will the country prove right the saying: "No child is allowed to suffer no matter how much his or her family suffers."

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