Draft law suggests allowing assistance dogs on public transport

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Will guide dogs, hearing dogs, and other assistance dogs finally be allowed to ride on public transport?

The newly released Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Construction of Barrier-Free Environment (Draft) proposes more freedom for service dogs to help people with disabilities.

This will be the first such law on promoting a barrier-free environment in China, and the draft is now open for public comment until Nov 29.

The concept of a barrier-free environment has been practiced in China’s urban design since the 1980s — but the application of this concept has not caught up with China’s rapid urbanization.

Therefore, it is necessary to formulate a special law to promote and regulate a friendly environment for vulnerable groups.

In addition to allowing service dogs to enter public spaces, the draft also mentions that:

  • “The state shall take measures to create a barrier-free environment, and provide convenience and conditions, for the disabled, for the elderly, and for other social groups who require barrier-free access, to independently and safely pass roads, to enter and exit buildings, to take public transport, to obtain, use and exchange information, and to enjoy social services.” (Article 2)
  • “Organizations for elderly and disabled persons established in accordance with the law, may participate in assisting government at all levels to carry out the work of promoting the development of a barrier-free environment.”(Article 7)
  • “Private companies, institutions, social organizations, individuals and other social forces (i.e., non-governmental sector) shall be encouraged and supported by the state to participate in the development of barrier-free environments through donations, voluntary services and other forms.” (Article 12)

People with suggestions on the draft can submit their comments on the official website of the National People’s Congress (www.npc.gov.cn), the national laws and regulations database (flk.npc.gov.cn), or send a letter to the office of the Legislative Affairs Committee of the NPC.