n. Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MCA)
中华人民共和国民政部--zhong hua ren min gong he guo min zheng bu
Part of the State Council, MCA was first established in 1949 as the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It was abolished in 1969, but founded again under its current title in 1978. In 2003, Li Xueju (李学举) was appointed the sixth minister of MCA.
MCA is comprised of 10 departments including the non-governmental organizations bureau, disaster and poverty relief department, social welfare and social security, foreign affairs department, and education department and heads social administrative affairs. China Detail provides an extensive list of MCA‘s responsibilities which include everything from standardizing the Chinese names of ethnic minorities and foreign places to overseeing democratic elections in villages to providing guidance in domestic and foreign adoptions.
In recent years,
MCA has made strides to both update and expand their services to the public.
They have moved to provide more support to the disabled and elderly, increased
health care, and facilitated the adoption of children left orphaned in the
Sichuan Earthquake to name a few.
For our purposes at China Philanthropy, it is important to note the significant role MCA plays in the NGO world in China. There has been talk of reforming the current relationships between MCA and NGOs to offer the latter more autonomy. Currently, all grassroots NGOs must register with MCA which thereafter exercises legal power over all activity within China. One of the preconditions for registration is finding another government entity to sponsor the group, which is usually difficult in practice. As a result, a large proportion of both international NGOs as well as grassroots Chinese groups are unable to register. MCA also reserves the right to determine organizational structure and terminate an organization if it fails to stay aligned to its original, stated purpose or extends beyond its stated sphere of influence (Non-governmental organizations in China). All this is not to say that registered NGOs are nonexistent in China. In fact, more than 300,000 groups are approved and registered. We were particularly pleased last year when SVG partner QCQ Autism Training Center in Shanghai was successfully registered after 3 years.