Updated: 2007-09-21 07:24
An official from the Supreme People's Court revealed on Wednesday that the number of juvenile delinquents is increasing at the annual rate of 13 percent from the year 2000.
Another figure will even more clearly indicate how serious the juvenile delinquency is: the number of crimes committed by juveniles makes up 70 percent of the total criminal offenses nationwide; the offenses committed by juveniles between the age of 14 and 18 account for 70 percent of the entire crimes by juvenile delinquents.
The future of a country lies in the hands of its younger generation. That is why we believe that the role of education can never be overestimated in fostering one generation after anther that is capable of doing a better job in many ways than their forefathers.
It is also because of this that we have no reason to feel untouched by the figures mentioned above.
The message is that the social security situation is likely to become worse in the near future with more juveniles and a slate of criminal offenders entering their adulthood. It also means that these people will quite likely become burdens - increasing the cost of social development rather than making contributions to its progress.
Apparently, the increasing crime rate among juveniles is only the symptom, the real nature of the disease needs to be diagnosed in the way they are brought up in both families and schools.
Statistics from a local court in Beijing indicate that 60 percent of juvenile criminals involved in sex offenses are from families with either divorced parents or an unstable relationship between parents.
Parents in such families tend to neglect their duties to educate their children as they are often obsessed with their own problems. We need to find better ways to look after these children.
The crime rate is also high among rural children, whose parents are working in cities and have left them behind with their grandparents or other relatives, according to the official from the Supreme People's Court.
The number of such rural children is estimated at 23 million. Lack of effective guardian and education from their parents has proved to be major cause for the rising crime rate among this group of juveniles.
From a long-term point of view, we cannot afford to overlook this issue. Whether such a large number of rural children will be well brought up is not only of concern to their future, but also of their families as well as the wellbeing of the future countryside and the country as well.
(China Daily 09/21/2007 page10)