Caixin
Sep 19, 2020 07:35 PM
SOCIETY & CULTURE

China Bans Sex Offenders From School Jobs by Sharing Crime Records Nationwide

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China has announced the nationwide rollout of a policy banning sex offenders from working at schools and kindergartens, by allowing access to judicial records of sexual misconduct across different regions.

The move follows two years of local exploration and comes in response to widespread calls for restricting sex offenders from certain types of jobs amid rising numbers of sexual assault cases.

A government notice (link in Chinese) published Friday says that sex offenders will be banned from obtaining teaching qualifications and that those currently working in schools and preschools will lose their jobs. It also encourages schools and kindergartens to refer to a new information-sharing system and reject job seekers with histories of sexual misconduct.

The new rules apply to people who have been convicted of sex crimes, who were not prosecuted for less serious sex crimes, and who have been punished by police for sexual molestation, according to the notice, which was jointly published by the education and public security ministries as well as China’s highest public prosecutions office. They exclude people who committed sex crimes carrying penalties of less than five years’ imprisonment when the offender was under the age of 18.

Sexual assault cases against children have been on the rise in China in recent years. Last year, public prosecutors took more than 19,000 suspects (link in Chinese) to court for alleged sex crimes against minors, including rape and molestation. The figure represented a 44% rise on 2018, which in turn saw a rise of 27% on the year before.

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Since 2017, several local governments, including those in Shanghai and the southern province of Guangdong, have established information-sharing systems and imposed job restrictions on people with histories of sexual assault.

But local-level action failed to prevent some offenders from working at schools in other parts of the country, said Sun Xuemei, head of nonprofit organization Girls Protection Fund.

Li Feng, an official at China’s top public prosecutor, said at a Friday press conference (link in Chinese) that the nationwide system would ensure the issue “basically never happens again.”

Contact reporter Lin Jinbing (jinbinglin@caixin.com) and editor Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

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