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Online archive illustrates protection of children

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-05 09:22
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An online archive of child-related cases opened to the public last weekend as a further step in China's strengthening of protection for minors and its efforts to prevent juvenile crime.

The archive was established by nine authorities, including the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the ministries of education and civil affairs, and the All-China Women's Federation.

People can log on to the website, http://rmfyalk.court.gov.cn, and choose the section on juvenile protection to read case histories and learn about how authorities tackled child-related disputes.

As of Tuesday, 115 cases had been put on the archive, with many covering hot issues such as school bullying, child abuse, visitation rights, sexual assault and privacy protection. The top court reviews a case's reference value before deciding whether it should be uploaded to the website.

One case is a landmark ruling that recognized a bullied student's knife attack in Hunan province as justifiable defense, with details of how the boy fought back after being hit by 15 classmates in a school washroom.

Although the 14-year-old boy's counterattack injured three children, a Hunan court identified his behavior as self-defense and cleared him of criminal liability for the injuries. It said that in such an urgent circumstance, his action was a response to the bullying rather than his classmates and he did not cause serious harm to them.

In another case, a teacher apologized to students for taking advantage of a system designed to prevent minors from becoming addicted to the internet to monitor some children's smartphone applications and online chat records.

The educational authority urged the teacher not to infringe upon minors' rights to privacy, adding that the incident was ended after the teacher's apology was accepted by the students and their parents.

Major facts and legal provisions of each case are summarized, but the personal details of the children involved in the cases are redacted.

Taking a leading role in the building of the archive, the Supreme People's Court said that its aim is not only to unify judgment standards and improve the quality of child-related case handling, but also to provide a platform for people from more walks of life, such as families and schools, to know how to deal with difficulties involving minors.

"We hope to seek more better solutions to prevent juvenile crimes at the root and reduce damage to children by disclosing cases online, so as to jointly create a sound rule of law environment for minors," it said.

Xu Hao, a lawyer at Beijing Jingsh Law Firm, is handling a case in which a 19-year-old woman from Jiangxi province became depressed after being bullied at high school.

Xu said that in many disputes it is much more difficult to evaluate the degree of psychological trauma than physical injury, and how to prove that a victim's mental problems are caused by bullying is also a challenge.

"In addition, the cost of psychological treatment is higher, and the recovery period is longer," he said.

Xu said that he was glad to see the archive being opened to the public. "It provides me with an open and convenient platform to know the attitude and solutions Chinese authorities have in handling school bullying," he said. "But I'd like to see more cases introduce how courts deal with minors' mental issues caused by school bullying."

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