Equal compensation for migrants as residents

2008-07-16 03:21:26 GMT       2008-07-16 11:21:26 (Beijing Time)       China Daily

Migrant workers who become victims of traffic accidents in Shenzhen will be entitled to the same compensation as residents, under a new ruling.

Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily reported yesterday the city's intermediate people's court on July 3 issued an interpretation on handling traffic accident compensation cases.

Under the ruling, migrant workers who have lived in Shenzhen for more than a year will receive the same treatment as citizens, the paper said.

The terms apply equally to the children of such workers, it said.

Four years ago, the Guangdong provincial high court issued guidelines on equal treatment for migrant workers, but authorities in Shenzhen, which has 8 million migrants and 2 million hukou (residency certificate) holders, have been struggling to release implementation rules .

Chen Lihuan, a Shenzhen lawyer who has handled several compensation lawsuits relating to traffic accidents, said in the past, a migrant worker would receive just 5,624 yuan ($820) a year for 20 years if he or she was disabled in a traffic accident.

In comparison, a citizen of Shenzhen would have gotten 24,870 yuan a year, he said.

"Treating migrant workers the same as citizens reflects a move toward fairness in the law and will help increase their social status," Chen said.

Hu Yaoming, a middle-aged man from Hubei province who works in Shenzhen's Bao'an district, said the regulation is good news for all migrant workers in the city.

"No one can predict a traffic accident," Hu said.

"Most migrant workers are a family's sole breadwinner, so if they cannot work it is hard for their families to cope.

"Giving them more compensation will really help."

Hu said a colleague of his lost a leg in a traffic accident in 2006. "If he had been given more compensation, he would have had an easier life." The injured man was paid just 93,800 yuan, but would have received 573,305 yuan if he had been a Shenzhen citizen, Hu said.

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