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NPC Passes China's First Charity Law to Encourage Participation
   2016-03-16 10:28:28    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Chi Huiguang


 [photo:baidu.com]


After more than 10 years' in the making, China's first Charity Law has been passed by the country's top legislature.

The law aims to encourage giving and social care; protect all the participants in charity activities; and re-establish public trust in the charity sector following some high profile scandals.

Our reporter Chi Huiguang reports now on the development of the new legislation.





 



Are you willing to donate for charitable activities?

"No, I won't."

"If it's not mandatory, I won't."

"I won't because the usage was non-transparent."

"I want to know if I can get the invoice."

"A donation without using in charity projects entirely is a cheat of money!"

However, there are some who said yes, but with conditions.

"I will donate, as long as letting me know my donation's usage or whom received. I prefer one-to-one donation."

"I will just donate my money to the projects organized by my friends but not social organizations."


[photo:baidu.com]

Their concerns nearly all centre on charity service and supervision, especially information disclosure. Some observers believe the deficiencies have seriously impeded the development of the country's charity sector.

Now - after 10 years of research band debate - China's first Charity Law has finally been passed by the country's top legislature, in order to establish a healthy charity system.

Wang Shengming from the Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee of the NPC Standing Committee has long been aware of the public's concerns. He says, of all the 12 chapters in the Charity Law, he values the rules on information disclosure the most:

"How to watch over and make a good use of donations? How to regulate how a charity behaves? One is self-discipline; the other is the tight control. The main plank of the legislation is information disclosure. It is vital charity organisations comply. It will now be compulsory for organizations to disclose their basic information on a regular basis; the condition of its charity projects; the reason for raising money; how much you've got; where it's being used; how much they have left and so on, as well as its legal liabilities."

Additionally, there are regulations about the supervision of civil affairs departments. Charity organizations should explain in detail how donations will be used.


Professor Deng Guosheng [photo:baidu.com]

Professor Deng Guosheng is Vice Dean of the Institute for Philanthropy at Tsinghua University, which has contributed in drafting the new law. He feels positive about the new regulations.

"Such requirements to be open and transparent for the charity organizations, as well as the method of strengthening supervision will help to restore the public's trust in both charity and charity organizations."

Reviewing the procedure of legislating the Charity Law, NPC deputy Chen Shu from Guangdong province has 10 years under her belt continuously writing materials and submitting motions. She jokes, she has even managed to bore herself!


Deputy Chen Shu [photo:baidu.com]

At the news conference for the draft Charity Law, she could not help but shed tears of joy.

"It's not been a waste of time anyway. No matter whether it was a waste or not, I still have to say. Finally it works! I am really emotional. I am excited with tears."

In 2005, the Civil Affairs Ministry promoted the idea for a Charity Law. She recalls moved the motion to start the process of revising the charitable activity promotion law back in 2007.

"Previously, the biggest problem was that only 8 so-called national foundations were qualified to raise donations. We insisted that giving to charity should be a social behavior."

Her sentiments echo those of many charity institutions and individuals.


Lin Bin's Charity Association established [photo:baidu.com]

Lin Bin is the secretary general of a charity association in southeast China's Fujian province. Thanks to the policy of simplified administration, his association was formally established several days ago on March 5th. He says:

"What I care most about with the coming Charity Law is how it regulates the qualification for raising public donations, which was strictly controlled by the government. Our association had no right to do it previously."

 
Kan Ke [photo:baidu.com]

Kan Ke, a former leading member of the Law Committee, introduced the regulations on the qualifications for raising public donations:

"The law aims to expand the subject range. In the future, all qualified charity organizations will be able to apply to the civil affairs department they registered with, for certification to raise public donations.

Deputy Chen Shu actually submitted 16 revisions to the draft Charity Law, 6 of them were adopted. She recalls, there was one rule that only the charity organizations registered at the provincial civil affairs departments and above could raise public donations online.

"Most of the charity organizations are grass roots. We were opposed to this rule specifically during the consultation in 2015. I insisted that all charity organizations should be able to compete equally."

It is stated in the first paragraph, that the law aims to develop charities, carry forward the charity culture, regulate charity activities, protect the legal interests of all the participants including charity organizations, donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries.


[photo:baidu.com]

Professor Deng Guosheng explains further:

"The development of charities is not only dependent on the donation of more money. Of course, money does matter. But the most important goal is to carry forward the spirit of love in our society, calling on the public to care about each other."

Kan Ke a former lawmaker of the Law Committee explains the leading role the NPC expects this new legislation to play:

"We want to guide more and more charitable activities to be carried out through charity organizations, and also guide the organizations to provide more timely help, making a better use of the donations where they are needed most."

According to the Charity Law, September 5th has been designated as China Charity Day.

For CRI, I am Chi Huiguang.

 
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