BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) — Chinese lawmakers voted on Wednesday to pass a new law on building a barrier-free living environment, which will take effect on Sept. 1, 2023.
The law, consisting of eight chapters, was approved at a three-day session of the Standing Committee of the 14th National People’s Congress that ended on Wednesday.
The new law makes provisions regarding the construction of accessible facilities, accessible information exchanges and social services, guarantee measures, supervision and management, and liability.
Underscoring the need to improve the daily lives of disabled and elderly people, the legislation stipulates that other groups with barrier-free needs may enjoy the facilities as well.
China had about 85 million people with disabilities, and 267 million elderly people aged 60 and above by the end of 2021. Other groups that may benefit from such facilities include pregnant women, children, and the sick and injured.
It specifies that newly built, reconstructed or expanded residential buildings and communities, public buildings, transportation facilities, urban and rural roads, among other places, should meet the standards for the construction of barrier-free facilities.
The law stipulates the responsibilities of engineering construction units, design units, project supervision units, government departments, among others, in enhancing the accessibility level.
“The state supports the installation of elevators or other barrier-free facilities in existing multi-storey residential buildings in old urban communities,” it reads. ■