China Focus: Various provisions in place to fortify legal protection of minors
BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- As the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee goes on, the protection of minors has become an instant hot topic among both Chinese lawmakers and the public.
Draft revisions to the Law on the Protection of Minors and the Law on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency have been submitted and reviewed by the lawmakers, putting in place a number of new and modified provisions to strengthen the legal protection of the country's juveniles.
As the minors protection law was last revised in 2006 and the juvenile delinquency prevention law enacted in 1999, both laws were found to have difficulties helping solve certain contemporary problems, which made the potential revisions necessary.
CYBERSPACE PROTECTION HIGHLIGHTED
New stipulations on cyberspace protection were highlighted in the draft revision to the Law on the Protection of Minors, covering issues such as the management of cyberspace, the protection of personal information and anti-addiction measures in a bid to give well-rounded protection to minors both online and offline.
For instance, the provisions stipulate that venues that provide internet service for minors such as schools and libraries should install protection software concerning minors' online activities on their systems.
Moreover, the provisions stress the management of minors' time spent on online games and ask online game suppliers to categorize their products, set reminders and take technical measures to keep minors away from games that are not suitable for them.
According to a report released by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in June, the number of internet users in China reached 854 million, with over 20 percent under 19.
The Internet has become an unavoidable part of reality for the current generation of juveniles, and a lot of parents' concerns about minors' usage of the internet as well as some schools' rules against students taking cell phones to school showed the urgency to improve relevant laws, according to Zhang Jie, a researcher at the Communication University of China.
"The draft revision has timely responded to society's demands with such provisions," said Zhang.
STRONGER ANTI-BULLYING ACTION
As bullying among minors becomes a bigger social concern in the country, both draft revisions have underscored the action against it and specified the dos and don'ts on the issue.
A report of the CNNIC has shown that as of July 31, 2018, 15.6 percent of the 169 million minor netizens said they had suffered from cyber-violence.
According to the draft revision to the Law on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency, schools should further strengthen their daily safety management, set up prevention and control systems against bullying among students and handle hidden factors that might cause bullying.
Schools should play the major role in dealing with bullying incidents and let in the police to handle incidents that cause severe damage to the bullied students' bodies and minds, the provisions stipulate.
The draft revision to the minors protection law also eyes online bullying, as it stipulates that any organization or individual should not insult, slander or threaten minors by any means.
SOCIAL FORCES TO STEP UP
The draft revision to the juvenile delinquency prevention law proposed more support from social sectors given the significance of a fine social environment to minors.
Youth, women and student organizations, as well as trade unions, should assist governments and law enforcement agencies at various levels in the initiative, so as to provide and cultivate social support, according to the draft.
The government shall encourage and guide social organizations to take part in work related to the prevention of juvenile delinquency, introduce favorable policies and strengthen the management, says the draft.
The other draft revision has made the chapter social protection more specific, adding stipulations including that employers in businesses that require close contact with minors must inquire the police when recruiting whether an applicant has an illegal record of seriously harming minors, which may refer to acts including sexual assault against minors.
Organizations in these businesses should also examine their personnel on a regular basis on whether they have negative records concerning minors, and dismiss anyone who does have such a record.