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Advisers seek parenting laws

(Shanghai Daily)

10:02, March 08, 2013

There should be laws governing parent responsibility, political advisers said yesterday following the tragic case of a baby killed after his parents left him sleeping in their car which was then stolen.

The baby's body was found buried in snow after the thief gave himself up to police on Tuesday.

The murderer "lost humanity" but the parents and lack of laws also shared responsibility for the tragedy, Shanghai advisers said at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing.

Shanghai lawyer Duan Qihua said that, unlike Western countries, China didn't specify whether parents should face punishment if their children were involved in accidents, according to yesterday's Xinmin Evening News.

"A series of painful cases shows the lack of laws poses a negative influence in terms of protecting children's lives," Duan added.

Some countries, such as the United States and Canada, rule that children under the age of 12 can't be left home alone, with parents facing court action if found guilty of neglect.

Zheng Shan, deputy chairwoman of the Shanghai Women's Federation, said young children should never be left alone.

Accidents can happen to children anywhere, in kindergartens, parks and supermarkets, she said, and children can get hurt even if parents are absent-minded for just a moment.

Shanghai had taken some measures to protect children, Zheng said. The city had educated and trained kindergarten teachers on how to avoid accidents and how to deal with them if they arose.

The baby who was killed earlier this week, two-month-old Xu Haobo, had been left sleeping in his parents' car on Monday morning while they went into their grocery store in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province.

They had left the keys in the ignition and it was only a matter of minutes before Zhou Xijun, 49, allegedly drove off in the vehicle. Zhou told police he later killed the baby. Prosecutors yesterday approved his arrest.

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