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事实孤儿(shìshí gūér): De facto orphans

China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-16 08:04

Twelve departments including the Ministry of Civil Affairs have jointly issued a document on de facto orphans.

According to the document, de facto orphans refer to children whose parents are seriously sick, disabled or have been declared missing, and children with both parents serving prison terms, undergoing drug rehabilitation or subject to other personal freedom restriction measures, or who have lost contact with their parents in other ways.

According to incomplete statistics of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, till now there are about 500,000 de facto orphans nationwide who meet the criteria set out in the document, which also stipulates several support measures for de facto orphans including a basic living allowance, healthcare and education support.

The government will also purchase services and mobilize social organizations to provide psychological comfort and care to de facto orphans. The relevant authorities including professional childcare social workers, child welfare organizations and juvenile relief and protection organizations should provide necessary children custody guidance and support to de facto orphans. Legal aid to de facto orphans whose rights and interests have been undermined will also be strengthened.

Parents that have the capacity but refuse to fulfill their childcare responsibilities will be subject to disciplinary action.

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