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Guangzhou lessons to prevent sex attacks

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou  (China Daily)

08:35, June 27, 2013

Sexual assault prevention education is likely to become compulsory in schools in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, in coming months.

A draft that adds such education to the Regulations to Protect Minors was submitted to the Guangzhou People's Congress for a second review on Tuesday.

Wei Qiang, deputy director of the legal affairs committee of the people's congress, said the inclusion is aimed at preventing sexual assaults in schools and on campuses.

"The draft suggests schools have the right and obligation to promote sexual assault prevention and help students raise their awareness and improve their capacity to prevent them being sexually harassed and assaulted," Wei said.

The students will be taught what legally constitutes sexual assault and sexual harassment during classes, he said.

Wei also urged schools to establish psychological guidance rooms to help students in need.

Sexual assault prevention education is being included in the city's laws and regulations after a number of such cases involving students have been reported throughout the country.

Yang Jianguang, a professor from the law school of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, said the move is of great significance.

"That provides a legal basis for relevant departments to punish those offenders," Yang told China Daily on Wednesday.

It also acts as a deterrent to offenders, he said.

"It will also help standardize the operation of teachers and other school staff," Yang added.

Wang Shaoying, a Guangzhou office worker and the mother of a 9-year-old daughter, welcomed the news.

"Many young children know little about sex and can easily be fooled by adults, so it is really a must to introduce laws and regulations to promote sexual assault prevention education on campuses," Wang said.

Meanwhile, children under the age of 10 will not be allowed to stay home alone in the southern metropolis, according to the draft regulation.

Guangdong has many migrant workers with children who often stay at home alone while their parents work.

Chen Wenxiong, a migrant worker from Sichuan province, said the regulation will help enhance parents' awareness of the issue, "but many migrant workers have to work in the daytime and they cannot always take their children with them.

"I hope authorities can set up more kindergartens and schools for the city's large number of migrant workers," he added.

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