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Law mulled to make aid compulsory

(China Daily)

09:06, October 20, 2011

GUANGZHOU - The possibility of enacting laws to punish passers-by who refuse to help people in obvious distress has become a hot topic in the southern province of Guangdong.

Legal experts and the public are debating the idea after a 2-year-old girl, Yue Yue, was run over twice in Foshan on Thursday but ignored by at least 18 passers-by.

Yue Yue was finally moved to the roadside by a 57-year-old scrap collector, who then called for the girl's parents.

At least 10 Party and government departments and organizations in Guangdong, including the province's commission on politics and law, the women's federation, the academy of social sciences and the Communist Youth League, have started discussions about punishing those who refuse to help people who clearly need it.

They are also seeking feedback from the public as to whether legislation should be enacted.

Zhu Yongping, a lawyer at Datong Law Firm, said lawyers will discuss the idea next month and push for the legislation.

"Many laws, including forbidding drunken driving, in China have been passed after high-profile individual cases, and now is the right time to legislate against refusing to help people," Zhu said on Wednesday.

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