The amendment to the Law on Protection of the Disabled, which has been discussed twice by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in February and April, was expected to go into effect on 1 July 2008.
"Caring for persons with a disability is a sign of social progress, and is an important part of building a harmonious society," said China's government official Wu Bangguo at the meeting. "Persons with a disability should be guaranteed the right to play a fair role in social life and share the fruits of our country's economic and social development", he added.
It is the first law amendment adopted by the 11th NPC Standing Committee, which convened its first meeting in March this year.
The amendment added details about stable financial support, better medical care and rehabilitation for persons with a disability, along with favorable jobs and tax policies. Governments at county level or above should provide stable funding and draw up annual plans to persons with a disability. Governments and social organizations, enterprises, and non-government organizations should have a quota of persons with a disability on their payroll, and should contribute to persons with a disability in other aspects if they failed to meet the quota. Government purchase should also give priority to products or services provided by persons with a disability, according to the amendment.
Furthermore, the amendment also made clearer the legal consequences of violating the rights and interests of persons with a disability.
China is the host of the Beijing 2008 Paralympics in September 2008 as well as the Asian Para Games in Guangzhou in 2010.
According to the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF), the country has about 83 million disabled, accounting for 6.34 percent of the population. More than 75 percent of persons with a disability live in rural areas.