From the Chinese Press

Updated: 2013-05-14 14:09

(China Daily)

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Not all animation for kids

A 5-year-old boy and his 8-year-old brother were severely burned by their 9-year-old friend while copying a scene from Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, a popular Chinese animation series. The medical expenses for their treatment could be several million yuan. It's high time a rating system for animation was introduced in China, says an article in the Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

Watching cartoons and playing games with friends are wonderful times during childhood. It is really sad that the children's favorite program turned out to be responsible for their tragedy.

There are violent scenes not only in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, but also in other animations as well. Many cartoon characters are scantily dressed, with the stories and scenes beyond the understanding of kids.

It is a misconception in China that cartoons are exclusively for children. However, in some foreign countries, there is a clear-cut animation rating system that is designed for different age groups. And animation for adults forms a significant part of the market.

For example, a popular Japanese animation Crayon Shin-chan is intended for young adults and has an age restriction when released or broadcast. But in China, the series are available for everyone.

It's predicable that animation for adults, especially "kidults" is becoming a cultural trend in China. It is not a bad prospect in itself, but only if more attention is directed to protecting children.

In an effort to keep children away from violent and pornographic content, the introduction of a rating system for the animation industry in China cannot be delayed.

Right to education

According to reports from Southern Metropolis Daily, a member of staff at a local residents' committee in Foshan city, Guangdong province, said migrant mothers will need to provide proof they are using an intrauterine device to prevent pregnancy in order for their children to be eligible for local primary schools. Such discrimination should be stopped, says an article on Excerpts:

The Law on Compulsory Education requires children receive nine years' compulsory education. Migrant children in Foshan should enjoy the same education rights as their urban counterparts.

If the local authorities require migrant children's families to have an IUD certificate before their children are allowed in schools it is a form of discrimination against migrant workers.

Compared with urban residents, migrant workers themselves are already a disadvantaged group who need more care and protection from governments. The IUD policy instead imposes restrictions and bullies migrant parents.

The welfare of children relates to the prospects of the nation. It is shortsighted to set any restrictions depriving them of education. It is understandable that with an increase in the number of migrant kids, urban education resources face mounting pressure. But the proper way to resolve this problem is to increase education investment and expand education resources.

To deprive some children of their right to receive education in the hope of striking a superficial balance is just a Procrustean bed. Consequently, children become the scapegoats for parents who do not observe the family planning policy.

We should be aware of the "butterfly effect" when it comes to the unfair treatment of migrant children. Meanwhile, we must call an end to any coercive measures on the pretext of observing family planning policy.

(China Daily 05/14/2013 page9)