China prepares for ratification of more international labour conventions

ILO and its tripartite constituents make joint efforts to strengthen social security and maternity protection, benchmarking on international labour standards.

Press release | 12 December 2017
C102 & C183 workshop in Haikou
Beijing / China (ILO News) – ILO and its tripartite Chinese constituents including Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), All-China Federation of Trade Unions and China Enterprise Confederation examine the prospect for China to ratify Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No.102) and Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183) in a seminar from 12-14 December 2017 in Haikou.

Social security and maternity protection are two important areas of the China Decent Work Country Programme, under which ILO has provided technical assistance to China to improve legislation, policies and practices for many years.

Through these long-term joint efforts, it is encouraging to witness the major progresses that China has made in strengthening social protection and maternity protection.

China has built a comprehensive social protection system for over 1.3 billion people. Before 2009, most of its rural population still had no pension or medical insurance. With the incremental introduction of pension and medical insurance schemes for urban and rural residents since 2009, the country achieved not only universal legal coverage and also high effective coverage of pension and medical insurance. The World Social Protection Report 2017-19 highlights China’s innovative approach of combining contributory and non-contributory schemes in its urban and rural resident’s pension and medical insurance schemes as a valuable inspiration for many developing countries to achieve fast coverage expansion.

China is also making steady progress in providing better maternity protection. The Regulation on Labour Protection of Women Workers amended and adopted in 2012 marks a major step forward in this direction, as the new regulation extends maternity leave to 98 days in line with the requirement of Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No.183).

Committed to promotion of decent work and social equity, the government and social partners are seriously considering the ratification of two important conventions. The Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention 102 is the only international legal instrument on social security that defines the nine classical social security branches and remains a symbol of formal social security schemes. The Maternity Protection Convention (No. 183) together with Recommendation No. 191 formulated a new step by extending coverage to all employed women regardless of their occupation or types of employment, including to women in non-standard forms of employment who often receive no protection.

In the seminar, ILO’s tripartite constituents and representatives of National People’s Congress, National Health and Family Planning Commission, Ministry of Civil Affairs, and academic institutions reviewed the gaps between Chinese laws and the conventions and explored solutions to closing the gaps. The participants reached consensus that the conventions are important benchmarks for China to improve its laws and practice. Ratification of the conventions would serve as the compass on a long march to improve social security and maternity protection in China.