Opinion / Opinion Line

Better promote and enforce law to protect children

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-22 07:47

Better promote and enforce law to protect children

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang receives a painting created by a child when he visits the Bayi Children's Hospital in Beijing, capital of China, May 30, 2014. Li expressed his wishes to children ahead of the International Children's Day. [Photo/Xinhua]

An 11-year-old girl in Hanzhong, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, was beaten to death by her father, because she refused to apologize for coming home late. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Thursday:

Arrested on charges of child abuse and intentional injuring of a minor, the abusive father in Shaanxi is not alone in dismissing the fact that beating their children is domestic violence.

According to a 2014 survey by the women's federation of South China's Guangdong province, over 37 percent of the surveyed residents still believe there is nothing wrong in beating their own kids.

The truth is, parental education today does not need to involve violence. A child is not private property owned by his or her parents. Traditional ideas such as "spare the rod spoil the child" are outdated and constitute an infringement of youngsters' basic human rights.

True, discipline and strict household rules can help the young learn and succeed, but parents should never resort to violence in "enforcing" the rules. Those who fail to manage their anger and frustration toward their naughty kids, often end up regretting that they brought only bruises and scars, instead of promoting self-discipline and good behavior.

For the kids, their adolescent belligerence also has a lot to do with the parents' indulgence when they were younger. It would be too late and counter-productive to later try and rectify that over-indulgence with violence.

China's first law on domestic violence, which took effect on March 1, explicitly defines family abuse and streamlines the process of obtaining restraining orders. It urges the legal guardians of underage youths to educate them in a civilized manner, without using violence. Given the tragedy of the Shaanxi girl, more proactive efforts to promote the new law are needed to better protect children from violence at home.

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