CHINA Stronger laws help protection of children's rights


Stronger laws help protection of children's rights

China Daily

10:09, July 16, 2021

An elementary student reads a textbook in Changsha, capital city of Central China's Hunan province on Aug 24, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

Legal professionals attending an international seminar on Thursday said stronger domestic legislation is a key step in better implementing the Convention on Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1989.

Children also have human rights and their rights must be further safeguarded, they said at a webinar on the UN convention and national legislation.

The meeting, a parallel event to the 47th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, was held to discuss issues related to improving the protection of children's rights in different nations.

About 100 professionals from around the world participated in the webinar, sharing their legal ideas and measures on the protection of minors.

Tong Lihua, director of the Beijing Children's Legal Aid and Research Center, said China's legislative efforts on child protection last year were not hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He introduced the amended Law on Protection of Minors, which was adopted by China's top legislature in October, to foreign participants at the webinar. Tong highlighted the significance of the revised law, which came into effect on June 1.

"This amended law will more effectively implement the requirements of the convention and will improve the level of protection of minors in China in an all-around way," he said.

For example, the government's role in safeguarding children's rights has been clarified, and internet protection has been written into the law as a new chapter, he said.

The law gives solutions to some new problems involving children, including online bullying and internet addiction, and requires the State Council, China's Cabinet, to set up a leading group to strengthen child protection, Tong said.

Showing willingness to work with child-related social institutions from other countries, he added: "We'd also like to support education of talent on the protection of minors as well as to share legislative and legal practices with them to better implement the convention and do more for children in the world."

Joy Katunge, legal officer at the Kenya Alliance for Advancement of Children, said children's interests should be upheld as a top priority in child-related lawmaking, without discrimination and respecting their rights to life and development, which are also the principles of the convention.

Kenya has intensified its protection of children's rights by legislation and policy to ensure its national laws and regulations are consistent with the convention, she added.

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