China’s top prosecutor raises alarm about rise in child molestation
China’s top prosecution agency warned about an increasing incidence of crimes against minors, recommending more stringent safety control regulations in schools and businesses related to education and a database for the public to identify sex offenders.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate held a press meeting on strengthening judicial protection of minors on Tuesday, indicating there has been a rise in child molestation cases over the past five years. “From 2017, prosecutors across the country approved arrests of over 40,000 suspects and over 60,000 were sued for abuse of children or minors.

Zheng Xinjian, the director of the top prosecutor’s office in charge of criminal cases against minors, briefed the media, noting that in some areas, the situation is becoming severe with higher occurrence of serious cases and sharp rise in the incidence of crimes against minors.

According to a report delivered by the national prosecutor, sexual abuse cases occupied a comparatively larger share of all cases. Among the cases of abuse of minors by minors, the figure of school bullying cases is prominent while among the crimes committed by adults, there are more cases of rage and child molestation.

Left-behind and underage children tend to be easy targets of criminals. Among all criminal lawsuits filed on behalf of minor victims, 7.08 percent involve left-behind children whose parents are usually not with them but in larger cities for better-paid job opportunities.

The prosecutor cautioned that schools and training centers for school kids must not ignore safety control measures. Various preventive measures involving human supervisors and hi-tech equipment should be adopted. In some cases, employees of (schools and training centers) may take advantage of their positions to commit such crimes, said the prosecutor.

Zhen Xinjian proposed careful review of morals and mental state of employees in education-related industries. He also called for the establishment of an open information database of sex offenders targeting minors and children being marked.

The press briefing comes at a time when several high-profile cases made national headlines over the past month.

Earlier this month, a 13-year-old girl in south central China’ Hunan province called police after a 29-year-old man took her to a local hotel and had sex with him. The girl’s family filed criminal charges but later was notified by the local police department that they had no case because the two had consensual sex and the girl looked older than her real age, so the man didn’t know he was dating a minor.

The case gained nationwide attention on China’s social media platforms, with public security authorities at higher levels confirming that a rage charge had been filed against the 29-year-old man. Based on China’s law, whether or not an adult man knows the girl is under the age of 14, as long as the girl is under the age of 14, he’ll be convicted of rape.

At the beginning of May, a 9-year-old boy in Xi’an, the capital of North West China’s Shaanxi province, was found dead on the roof of his home building. The case immediately caused panic in the neighborhood of the community in which he lived and made national headlines. Within 40 hours, the local police collected solid proof to pin down the principal criminal, who turned out to be the working staff of a daycare center where the victim was left. 


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