Shanghai to ban minors from fire-fighting

18:46, December 10, 2009      

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Shanghai law-makers are to ban minors from working in fire-fighting units, in contrast to past campaigns of glorifying children who put their lives at risk in emergencies.

A draft of the revised Fire Service Act before the standing committee of the Shanghai People's Congress stipulates that any organization or person has a duty to help fire-fighting, but organizing minors to fight fires is prohibited.

Those who violate the rules could be warned or fined 2,000 yuan (294 U.S. dollars) to 200,000 yuan, the draft says.

"The regulation is to guarantee minors' right to life because they haven't the abilities to protect themselves well," said ZhangLing, an official with the standing committee.

Education and human resources departments as well as schools and other training organizations shall incorporate fire control knowledge into the teaching and training, the draft said.

The committee did not reveal when the law was likely to be passed.

China's fire control regulation says any organization or person has the duty to assist fire-fighting. Shanghai would be the first area in the country to pass a law banning organizing minors from fighting fires.

In the 1990s, the Chinese government launched a campaign to make a hero of Lai Ning, 14, who died helping to save his village from a forest fire in 1988.

Although heroism and a sense of responsibility are still praised, schools and governments now tell students to ensure their own safety before they try to help others out of danger.

Source:Xinhua
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