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China creating new law on volunteering
04 July 2005

Chengdu: China is drafting a national law on volunteer services to protect volunteers’ rights and encourage more people to volunteer.

Lawmakers will refer to the related existing regulations on volunteering while deliberating the legislation, said Zhang Xuecheng, an official from the Central Committee of Communist Youth League of China, in an interview with Xinhua recently.

Zhang said his organization is working with the country's top lawmaking body, the National People's Congress, to speed up the legislation.

"The initiative and rights of volunteers need to be protected by law," Zhang said at a workshop on volunteer service legislation in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province. "In fact, disputes have been reported in some Chinese cities in relation to the rights and obligations of volunteers."

Twenty officials, legal experts and volunteers joined the discussion, focusing on touchy issues such as who should bear the consequence in case of an injury during voluntary work.

Presently five Chinese provinces and four cities have enacted laws or regional regulations on volunteer work, including Guangdong, Shandong, Fujian, Henan, Heilongjiang, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Yinchuan and Chengdu.

Nanjing and Shenzhen have also drafted regulations on volunteer services, which took effect on Friday.

The nation's capital Beijing and the provinces of Jilin, Hubei and Hainan are also creating similar regulations.

According to Zhang, China has 13.8 million registered volunteers. Between 1993 and 2004, they provided 5.5 billion hours of voluntery services.

From: Xinhua News