Knock-off charity groups exposed

山寨公益社团频曝光 政策监管任重道远

Source: 搜狐公益

In March 2016, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs disclosed a list on which a number of charity associations were confirmed to be knock-offs and illegal. This led to the media conducting further investigations into those organisations. It was found that although some knock-off associations have shut down their websites, there are still some running and updating their information. For instance, the China Economic Development & Exchange Association, confirmed to be illegal by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, keeps attending international activities and affirming that they are endorsed by the Chinese government.

The China Commonwealth General Association, another one of these unlicensed associations, closed its website after the list was released. However a sub-association of the CCGA in Nantong has been found to still be operating in the name of the commonwealth. The website of CCGA Nantong shows it to be located in a building in Nantong, Jiangsu. However a journalist who visited the supposed office was told it did not exist.

On its website the organization reported some social activities in which it once participated, including a ‘Child Protection’ activity with the local women’s federation and the post office on May 30th 2013, and  ‘Love & Guard’ with a sub-district office and a union on May 31st 2013; furthermore a representative of CCGA, surnamed Xue, made donations to leukemia patients and gave public speeches. The local officials attending those activities refused to provide any information about them when interviewed, and the website was found to be unaccessible a few days later.

The China Urine Therapy Association, another unqualified organisation on the list, was still active in social activities after its exposure. There are as many as 4,000 individuals in several social media chat groups related to urine therapy. These chat groups have the words ‘urine drinking cures diseases’ as an introduction, and members are share their practical experience online.

Difficulties in regulation

The website of the China Commonwealth General Association Nantong announces that their predecessor, the China Social Culture Commonwealth General Association, was officially registered in 2008. Reacting to the exposure of the list Mr.Xue, the head of the association, said “I don’t think it’s a matter of right or wrong, on the grounds that civil organisations are voluntarily established but their legitimacy is determined by the government. The CCGA Nantong has long run independently from the CCGA so there is little connection with it now.”

The Administration of Civil Affairs of Nantong specified that any civil organisation whose name begins with China is supposed to register, but there is no record of CCGA Nantong registering. It is thus the police that should take charge of these organisations conducting illegal business.

Translated by Tian QIN

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