Handbook of Welfare in China
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Handbook of Welfare in China

Edited by Beatriz Carrillo, Johanna Hood and Paul Kadetz

The Handbook is a timely compilation dedicated to exploring a rare diversity of perspectives and content on the development, successes, reforms and challenges within China’s contemporary welfare system. It showcases an extensive introduction and 20 original chapters by leading and emerging area specialists who explore a century of welfare provision from the Nationalist era, up to and concentrating on economic reform and marketisation (1978 to the present). Organised around five key concerns (social security and welfare; emerging issues and actors; gaps; future challenges) chapters draw on original case-based research from diverse disciplines and perspectives, engage existing literature and further key debates.
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Chapter 12: Disability and welfare services

Karen R. Fisher, Xiaoyuan Shang and Megan Blaxland


This chapter examines people’s experiences of welfare policy intended to address the rights of people with disabilities as citizens of China. It applies a conceptual framework of disability and welfare from human rights. In a rights framework, meeting people’s support needs is required to fulfil their rights as citizens. Nationally, China adopts a rights framework in disability law. It is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2008. Yet, like other countries, research on disability in China indicates gaps between government commitment, experience of policies and consequent support required to fulfil their rights. In light of increased international and Chinese concerns about disability policy, it is timely to investigate experiences of support to inform welfare reform. Seeking socially inclusive policy for people with disabilities is directly related to rights, an issue high on the international political agenda. The chapter draws on fieldwork and secondary data analysis about the experience of people with disabilities within the family context (children, young people and older people) or in State care if family members are unknown. The policy implications of the findings focus on the ways State policy can strengthen family networks rather than exclude families from the disability policy process. In this, it takes a broad approach to policy implementation by acknowledging the role of the State, non-government agencies, communities and citizens.

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