Volunteering to be promoted through incentives in Shenzhen

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The Social Construction Regulations of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (“the regulations”) were recently approved by the Standing Committee of the Seventh Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress, and will come into force on Aug 1.

The regulations involve livelihood support, social governance, charities and volunteer services, and emphasize promoting volunteerism through incentives such as time banks.

Proposing the establishment of a four-level social work services system at the city, district, street and community levels, the rules aim to improve the social worker management and incentive system, promoting coordination, enhancing service capabilities and giving full play to the role of social organizations in social governance.

Article 6 of the regulations state that the municipal and district people’s governments shall establish and improve systems to encourage companies, social organizations and individuals to participate in the development of social services in an orderly manner.

In Article 32, it is pointed out that the government shall incorporate philanthropy into its long-term economic and social development strategies and annual plans, encourage high-income groups and companies to repay society, and strengthen the publicity of philanthropic activities to build a “city of charity”.

Article 87 mentions that voluntary service organizations and volunteers are encouraged and supported to carry out relevant services in areas such as livelihood support and social governance. All levels of government need to establish and improve the volunteer service time bank system, as well as other volunteer service incentive tools.

Supporting community philanthropy through government procurement of services is also encouraged by the regulations.