Protecting the Rights of Girls

August 23, 2013
Editor: Zhang Ningning
It is the common responsibility of all of society to protect the rights of girls, says Professor Tan Lin, Director of the Women's Studies Institute of China (WSIC) of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF).

Tan Lin, Director of the Women's Studies Institute of China (WSIC) of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) []

Tan Lin, Director of the Women's Studies Institute of China (WSIC) of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) []

At present, children's survival and development faces several severe situations. These are common challenges in all of the countries in the world. Therefore, both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Law of the People's Republic of China for the Protection of Minors emphasize that children have the rights to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. Because of their physical and psychological development characteristics, children should be given special priority in protection. The 'Children First' principle, established by the United Nations, is a recognized principle throughout the countries of the world. 

Cases of sexual assault against girls take place not in isolation, but are closely linked to children's survival and development environments. In accordance with the principle of Children First, it is necessary to create a good environment conducive to children's survival and development. 

It is necessary to punish sexual assaults against girls severely. In accordance with the principle of Children First, in cases of sexual assault, girls should be given priority protection and criminals should be severely punished. Any sexual assault against girls, including instances where there are visible physical injuries, or where there was a monetary transaction, or where the children agreed, or even if a child supposedly initiated an offer, is a serious infringement of the rights of girls' to be protected against rape or lewd behavior.

It is extremely urgent to take affirmative measures to effectively prevent sexual assaults on girls.
First, family members, especially parents and other guardians, should provide a range of comprehensive care measures for children as they grow up, and take active measures to protect a child in the event of discovery of a sexual assault on their person.
Second, kindergartens, schools and other educational institutions should take responsibility for protecting children, and sexual and legal education provisions for primary and secondary school students should be strengthened, so that children learn to protect themselves.
Third, all members of society including neighbors, classmates, and even passers-by, should become aware of and establish the concept of Children First in time to stop sexual assault or raise an alarm if finding children have been or may be affected by it. The Children First principle should be incorporated into social morality, professional ethics, family virtues and individual moral education to create a healthy and safe atmosphere for the protection of children's rights. 
All in all, the sexual assault of a child is an intolerable act of violence. Everyone is responsible for the protection of children against sexual assault. 
(Source: and edited by

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