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Report of the People's Republic of China on the Development of

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Legal and standards systems relevant to the market economy have been established indevelopmentmorally, in intelligence, physically, and so on.

    29 December 2000

    Distinguished Ms. Carol Bellamy,

     Following-up your letter of March 8, 2000 requesting submission of a National Report on End-Decade Review of the Development of Children in the 1990s.

     The National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council of People‟s Republic of China has completed the national report.

     Please find enclosed the Report of the People‟s Republic of China on the Development of Children in the 1990s.

     National Working Committee on Children and Women

     under the State Council of the People‟s Republic of China

Ms. Carol Bellamy

    Executive Director

    UNICEF New York

Report of the People’s Republic of China

    on the Development of Children in the 1990s

    --National Report on the Follow-up to the World Summit for Children

    December 29, 2000

    CONTENTS

    1. Background ................................................................................................................................... 1

    1.1 The 1990 World Summit for Children and its follow-up actions ..................................... 1 1.2 Work organizations and monitoring and assessment mechanisms on the development of children in China ....................................................................................................................... 1

    1.3 The 1995 Chinese National Report on Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child .................................................................................................................................... 2

    2. Final Assessment of NPA Achievements.................................................................................. 3 2.1 Organization and preparations of the final assessment .................................................... 3 2.2 Publication of the final assessment report ........................................................................ 3

    3. National Action ........................................................................................................................ 3

    3.1 Incorporating the NPA into the national economic and social development plan ............ 3 3.2 The “first call for children” principle and increasing investment in the undertakings for

    children ..................................................................................................................................... 4

    3.3 Priority in the use of international donations and aid for the survival, protection and development of children............................................................................................................ 6

    3.4 Laws, decrees, policies and regulations formulated in favor of the survival, protection and development of children............................................................................................................ 6

    3.5 NGOs, communities, families and mass media have fully displayed their respective roles

     6

    3.6 Establishing and improving monitoring and assessment mechanisms and regularly

    collecting, analyzing and publishing statistics associated with children ................................... 7 3.7 Arrangements for responding to natural disasters ............................................................... 8

    4. Specific actions ........................................................................................................................ 8

    4.1 Publicity and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its monitoring ................................................................................................................................. 8

    4.2 Strengthening primary healthcare and basic health services in the fight against children‟s

    diseases. .................................................................................................................................... 8

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    4.3 Adopting all possible measures to raise the nutritional levels of children ...................... 10 4.4 Raising the status of women and girls and ensuring that they enjoy full rights .............. 10 4.5 Ensuring the healthy and safe upbringing of children ...................................................... 12

    4.5.1 The upbringing of orphans and disabled children ................................................. 12

    4.5.2 Protection of street children .................................................................................. 13 4.6 Ensuring early education and popularizing basic education ............................................ 13 4.7 Natural environment protection ....................................................................................... 14

    5. Main experience and problems existing ...................................................................................... 15

    5.1 Main experience ............................................................................................................... 15

    5.1.1 Government‟s attention, formulating plans, establishing organizations, and unified

    implementation................................................................................................................ 15

    5.1.2 Strengthening grassroots service organizations and defining the roles of

    communities .................................................................................................................... 17

    5.1.3 Displaying to the full the roles of mass media in extensive social mobilization .. 17

    5.1.4 Actively developing international cooperation ...................................................... 18 5.2 Difficulties and problems ................................................................................................. 18

    5.2.1 Marked disparity in development among different regions and between urban and

    rural areas ........................................................................................................................ 18

    5.2.2 Challenges facing rural health work ...................................................................... 20

    5.2.3 The work of “popularizing the nine-year compulsory education” remains arduous.

    ......................................................................................................................................... 20

    5.2.4 The task of educational reform is heavy................................................................ 20

    6. Actions for the future .................................................................................................................. 21

    Appendix

    iii

1. Background

    1.1 The 1990 World Summit for Children and its follow-up actions

    In September 1990, the Foreign Minister of the People‟s Republic of China, Mr. Qian Qichen, headed the national delegation which attended the World Summit for Children. In March the following year, the then Vice-Premier of the State Council, Mr. Li Peng, signed on behalf of the Chinese government the two documents, the “World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children” and the “Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s”, making solemn commitments to the international community. China then went on to formulate the “National Programme of Action

    for Child Development in China in the 1990s” (referred to as “NPA” below). After extensive

    discussion and revision, it was officially issued by the State Council in 1992. The NPA covers all the main goals set by the World Summit for Children and the corresponding strategies and measures for implementation in the light of the conditions of China. The line Ministries/Agencies and all the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities as well as prefectures and 99% of the counties, have in turn formulated their own NPAs and plans for implementation.

1.2 Work organizations and monitoring and assessment

    mechanisms on the development of children in China

    The National Working Committee for Children and Women (NWCCW) under the State Council (NWCCW) was established in 1990 to co-ordinate the steps of all related government departments and NGOs in carrying out work for women and children and promoting the development of children, safeguarding their rights and overseeing the implementation of laws and regulations and the NPA concerning the protection of the rights of children. State Councillor Wu Yi heads the organization, which is made up of vice-ministers of 24 government organizations including the State Development Planning Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Health and leaders of five non-governmental organizations, including the All-China Trade Union Council, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and the All-China Women‟s Federation.

    At present, the people‟s governments of all the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, all the 385 prefectures and more than 2,000 counties have established their own Women and Children‟s Working Committee, headed by the government leaders of the

    corresponding levels.

    The centre, all provinces, 96% of prefectures and 93% of counties have established their monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for the implementation of the NPA and have introduced an annual reporting system. In 1996, they carried out a detailed intermediate assessment of the implementation of the NPA and the objectives achieved, on the basis of the annual monitoring reports. Through this assessment they reviewed the course of development of Chinese children in the 1990-1995 period

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    and gave a comprehensive assessment of the objectives achieved, summed up the major experiences and outstanding problems in children‟s work and set forth the measures for achieving the goals for 2000. The assessment found that there were great disparities between different regions and between urban and rural areas; there were particularly large gaps in healthcare; and information on the situation of children needed to be strengthened. Based on these problems, they put forward such measures as strengthening anti-poverty efforts, improving the environment of poor areas for survival, protection and development of children, strengthening elementary education and healthcare of children with emphasis put on rural areas, and setting up sound monitoring and statistical systems concerning the development of children so as to carry out work more effectively in the following five years.

    1.3 The 1995 Chinese National Report on Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

    China took an active part in the formulation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and was a signatory to it in 1990. The Standing Committee of the National People‟s Congress approved the Convention in 1991. On April 1, 1992, the Convention became effective in China. The Chinese government has conscientiously implemented the obligations contained in the Convention and submitted in March 1995 the “First Report of the People‟s Republic of China on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child” to the UN Human Rights Centre.

    In May 1996, the UN Children‟s Rights Committee reviewed the report and gave a basically affirmative conclusion on the efforts made by China in implementing the Convention, such as considerable progress in formulating and implementing the laws and management regulations associated with the rights of the child, lowering the mortality rate of infants and children under five, and raising the school enrolment of children. It took note of the difficulties in addressing children‟s

    problems and filed a list of 40 questions such as the conditions of children in welfare institutions, the suspended sentence for under-aged criminals aged 16 and under 18, issues concerned with the juvenile justice system (whether or not parents can visit juvenile delinquents during the period of detention before trial, whether or not juveniles are provided with legal assistance, and the principle of presumption of innocence), and the situation of kidnapping and abducting of children. The Chinese government has provided written responses on all of the issues raised, and made improvements accordingly in legislation, judicial practice and other areas. The “Criminal Code of the People‟s Republic of China” as amended on March 14, 1997 and implemented from October 1

    of the same year clearly provided that death penalty (including suspended death sentence) is not applicable to people under age 18. The “Criminal Procedure Law” amended in 1996 and implemented in 1997 stressed the judicial protection of persons under age 18 in the criminal proceedings. The “Adoption Law” revised in November 1998 which became effective on April 1, 1999, as well as documents on the management of household registration, all contain rules more favourable for the protection of the rights and interests of children, conforming more closely to the principles and provisions of the Convention.

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2. Final Assessment of NPA Achievements

    2.1 Organization and preparations of the final assessment

    The final assessment was carried out in August 2000 with the participation of representatives of all member units under the leadership of the NWCCW. The NWCCW compiled the assessment plan and related Ministries and Commissions and Women and Children Working Committees at the provincial level carried out the assessment based on the plan. The NWCCW organized six assessment groups made up of government officials, members of NGOs and experts to make on-the-spot investigations in 11 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.

    Thanks to the monitoring and assessment organizations and the monitoring indicator system which were set up very early, there are statistics for 21 of the 24 goals, leaving only three items for which statistics cannot be obtained through conventional statistical channels. In 1999, Ad-hoc surveys were made for these areas, namely, iron-deficiency anaemia in women of child-bearing age, low birth-weight and vitamin A-deficiency, with nationally representative statistics obtained.

2.2 Publication of the final assessment report

    It is aimed to extensively spread the achievements and experience made over the past decade in the

    stsurvival, protection and development of children and the new challenges in the 21 century, and to

    mobilise the entire society to pay more attention to the healthy growth of children. For this purpose, China will carry out a publicity campaign in 2001 through the printed media, radio and TV, and will give a press briefing in the first half of the year, to make known the end-decade review results. It will also prepare handouts, folders and pictures on the assessment results for broader publicity.

3. National Action

    3.1 Incorporating the NPA into the national economic and social development plan

    The NPA issued by the State Council in 1992 sets ten major goals and 39 supporting goals, identical with the global goals set forth by the World Summit for Children and conforming to the national conditions of China and reflecting Chinese characteristics. Governments at all levels make the implementation of the Children‟s Program part of their responsibilities and they have incorporated it into their agenda and the job responsibilities of officials. In 2000, Premier Zhu Rongji in his government work report to the National People‟s Congress urged the conscientious implementation

    of the NPA. The NPAs of all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have been incorporated into the local economic and social development plans. Thanks to the full attention by the governments at all levels, China has basically realised the ten major national goals and 20 of the

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    24 global goals. Good progress has been made towards the goal of reduction of iron deficiency anaemia. However, measurement is not possible due to lack of an adequate baseline. The goals of reducing maternal mortality, eliminating neonatal tetanus and controlling HIV/AIDS remain challenging in China.

     Reduction of infant/under-five mortality Reduction of anaemia

     Reduction of maternal mortality Elimination of IDD

     Reduction of child malnutrition Elimination of vitamin A deficiency

     Safe drinking water Breastfeeding

     Sanitary excreta disposal Polio eradication

     Primary basic education Elimination of neo-natal tetanus

     Elimination of adult illiteracy Measles control

     CEDC EPI coverage

     Control of HIV/AIDS Control of diarrhoea

     Birth spacing Control of ARI

     Prenatal care and safe delivery Early childhood development

     Reduction of low birth weight rate Life skills/behavioural change

     Achieved Challenging No baseline

    3.2 The “first call for children” principle and increasing investment in the undertakings for children

Since the State Council issued and implemented the NPA, the principle of “first call for children”

    has struck roots deep in the hearts of the people. The governments at all levels have increased financial input into areas that will help achieve the goals set in the NPA. Since the beginning of the 1990s, apart from increasing overall investment in education and health, the central and local governments have earmarked special funds for the development of children, including:

    Education Starting from 1993, China began to keep separate statistics about expenditures on elementary education. During 1993-1999, the annual appropriation for compulsory education increased from 33.356 billion yuan to 94.724 billion yuan or by 19% annually. In 1995-2000, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance launched the “compulsory education projects in

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    poverty-stricken areas initiative”, appropriating 3.9 billion yuan, or 10 billion yuan including local matching funds, earmarked for the popularisation of compulsory education in poor areas. In addition, the central government took out 130 million yuan from the earmarked funds as state grants-in-aid for children of poor families. The State Development Planning Commission allocated earmarked funds of one billion yuan for construction of primary schools in the poorest rural areas. In order to ensure the realisation of the goal of eliminating illiteracy, the governments at all levels have appropriated special subsidies. At the same time, the state has opened up multiple channels for raising funds to support compulsory education, including increasing tax categories, surcharges, running productive entities, encouraging social donations and establishing funds.

    Health In implementing the NPA, the state has steadily increased financial input for maternal & child health care and epidemic prevention for women and children, with the amount increasing from 1990‟s 305 million yuan and 1.203 billion yuan, respectively, to 1999‟s 1.046 billion yuan and 3.388

    billion yuan. This represents an annual increase of 14.68% and 12.19% respectively, exceeding the increase in GDP during the same period. In order to improve healthcare services for rural children, China has biased health work and resources toward the rural areas. From 1991 to 1999, the central and local finances and the collective sector raised a total of 20 billion yuan for transforming and expanding 41,000 township clinics and nearly one-third of the county anti-epidemic stations and county MCH centres. The State Development Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance invested about 1.3 billion yuan in the rural three-tier (county, township and village levels) healthcare network. In the 1995-2000, the Chinese government used 90 million US dollars in World Bank loans for improving basic health services for children and women, especially for capacity building at township and village levels. In 2000-2001, the central government finance ministry earmarked another 100 million yuan, plus 100 million yuan of local matching funds, for use in lowering the maternal mortality rate and in eliminating neonatal tetanus. China initiated a project for county hospital construction in 1999. Over the next three years, the project will improve the service capacity of about 300 county hospitals nation-wide with a focus on western areas. In order to solve the water supply problem in areas short of potable water, investment in water supply in the water-short rural areas increased to 31 billion yuan in the 1991-1999 period. The total investment in the building of rural sanitary latrines reached 8.6 billion yuan in 1996-1999. In order to eliminate iodine-deficiency disorders, the State spent about 300 million yuan in adding iodine to salt between 1993 and 1999. Between 2000 and 2001, the central government finance ministry earmarked 100 million yuan to provide complementary soy bean milk or milk to primary and secondary students.

    Protection In order to strengthen protection of women and children, the State earmarked 156 million yuan for cracking down on the criminal activities of abduction of women and children.

    According to incomplete figures from 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, the finance bureaux at and under the provincial level increased investment of about 200 billion yuan in elementary education, women and child healthcare, immunization and in monitoring and assessment of the implementation of the NPA. The investment has helped to achieve the related goals.

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    3.3 Priority in the use of international donations and aid for the survival, protection and development of children

    During the 1990s, China has approximately received US$350 million in aid grants from UN organizations and foreign governments every year. About one-third of these amounts have been used for the survival, protection and development of children.

    3.4 Laws, decrees, policies and regulations formulated in favour of the survival, protection and development of children

    Since the beginning of the 1990s, China has, on the basis of the existing laws for the protection of children, formulated a series of further relevant laws and regulations, including the Law for the Protection of People Under Age, the Law on Education, the Law on Teachers, the Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Law of Compulsory Education, the Regulations on the Work of Eliminating Illiteracy, the Regulations on the Management of Kindergartens, the Law on the Protection of Women‟s Rights and Interests, the Law on Maternal and Child Care, the Law on the Protection of Handicapped People, the Regulations on the Education of Handicapped People, the Labour Law, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, the Law on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency and the Provisions on the Implementation of the Popularisation of Nine-Year Compulsory Education, the Elimination of Illiteracy among Young and Middle-aged People, Provisions for the Management of Social Welfare Institutes, and Provisions for Further Development of Welfare for Orphans. The country also revised and/or is revising the Criminal Code, the Adoption Law and the Marriage Law for the purpose of improving them and ensuring the healthy growth of children physically and mentally.

3.5 NGOs, communities, families and mass media have fully

    displayed their respective roles

All of China‟s NGOs have contributed their shares to the survival, protection and development of

    children by a variety of means according to their nature and strengths. In order to help children of poor regions and poor families enjoy the same rights to education as other children, the China Youth Fund of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China has launched the “Hope

    Project”. Over the past ten years, it has raised more than 1.8 billion yuan, which has been used to support nearly 2.3 million school dropouts and build 7,812 “Hope primary schools”. The “hand-in-hand” activities conducted by China‟s Young Pioneers associated with it have built a bridge between children of the cities and the countryside, of good and poor health, and of Han and ethnic minorities in caring for and helping each other. More than 68.5 million children participated in these activities. The China Children Development Fund of the All-China Women‟s Federation

    has launched the “Spring Bud Programme” designed to help poor girls who have dropped out of school to complete primary, junior and senior secondary education. By the end of 1999, the Programme had received donations amounting to more than 300 million yuan and has supported some one million girls.

The organizations at all levels of the All-China Women‟s Federation and educational departments,

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