China’s highest legislative body, the National People Congress, approved an amendment to China’s child protection laws covering sexual assault of children on Oct. 17. The new law was passed following a spate of high profile sex abuse cases involving children.
What’s the story?
The newly amended Law on the Protection of Minors added 60 new articles, and also updated some of the original 72 articles. Among all the new provisions the ones covering closer scrutiny of people working with children has been most discussed on social media.
The new law created the ability for some organizations to inquire about employees’ pasts as it pertains to crimes such as sexual assault, abduction and trafficking, and violent injuries. The free inquiry services will be provided to institutions that have close contact with minors. Those institutions should regularly check whether their staff have criminal records that cover any of the issues mentioned above. A staff member who is found to have those records may face dismissal.
What are people saying online?
China’s social media generally applauded the new laws, especially due to the fact that China has seen several high-profile sex abuse scandals in the news in recent years. “It is the common aspiration of the whole society to provide children with a safer and warmer growth environment,” a popular comment read.
Some people, however, worry whether the new laws can be implemented effectively; as one comment read, “It’s good, I just hope to add that if an institution neglects its duty, it should be severely punished. If no one implements it, no matter how good the policy is, it will not benefit people.”
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