Child abuse case leads to calls for review of laws

Updated: 2012-11-21 21:31


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Parents of victims in the Wenling kindergarten child abuse case have taken steps to sue the kindergarten after teacher Yan Yanhong was released from custody with no charges being laid. Although the local education authority hoped the case could be "calmly handled", it cannot stop the public from further reflecting on child abuse, says an article in Guangzhou Daily, excerpts:

While child abuse is always considered a horrible crime, society views it as particularly heinous when conducted by a kindergarten teacher. Although Yan’s actions caused no actual physical injury, they must have immensely hurt the children’s mental well-being. It is difficult to imagine there are no specific items on child abuse in the Criminal Law to punish such acts.

The reoccurring reports of child abuse should prompt education departments to reflect on whether the existing threshold for what is considered abuse in pre-school education, is too low. Given the low level of education and income of kindergarten teachers the turnover rate of staff in the industry is high, and it is difficult to form industry rules. But child abuse will continue if the relevant departments do not take moves to rectify ongoing problems.

Attempting to downplay the seriousness of this case will have adverse effects nationwide. Ignoring this case will mean it can not be made an example of, serving as a warning to others that child abuse will not remain unpunished.

The lack of relevant laws and supervision has, in a way, paved the way for child abuse to occur. To fundamentally eradicate such behavior, relevant departments must establish relevant laws and regulations as early as possible to severely punish and stop potential child abusers.

Translated by Xiao Lixin