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Experts call for child abuse crime after kindergarten scandals


08:04, October 30, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- A crime of child abuse should be established in law to better protect children from abusive teachers or household nurses, according to Chinese experts.

"The laws abroad stipulate clear-cut penalties for child abuse. But in China, such acts are banned in law formally with vague definitions and weak punishment," said Yao Jianlong, a member of the China Institute on Research of Juvenile Delinquency.

The call for legislation comes after a number of scandals over the past couple of years in the country, two recent ones in particular.

In one case, a picture posted on the Internet last Wednesday showed a 20-year-old teacher, surnamed Yan in a kindergarten in eastern Zhejiang Province, holding up a student by his ears with his feet about 10 centimeters off the ground.

The boy surnamed Lin was crying while Yan smiled. The woman was sacked by the local education authority and detained by police. She told police she did it "just for fun."

In another case, earlier this month, a five-year-old kindergarten girl was slapped in the face for more than 10 minutes by her female teacher Li Zhuqing in north China's Shanxi Province. Li, who was detained for 15 days, beat the girl just because she failed to answer a mathematics question.

In China's criminal law, the crime of abuse is applicable among family members. Usually, suspects of child abuse in kindergartens are put under administrative detention for up to 15 days. This means they will not face criminal charges.

China's constitution and laws on compulsory education and protection of minors consists of relevant items regarding child abuse, but the criminal law has no specific crime for child abuse, Yao added.

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