Chinese Courts Pursue Women, Children's Rights, Officials Vote

March 19, 2015
By Wang ChunxiaEditor: Eileen Cheng

Deputies to the 3rd session of the 12th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, voted to give their opinion on the work reports of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, China's main departments for justice and investigation, in Beijing on March 15.

Members cast 2,619 "yes" votes, 213 "no" votes and 44 abstentions for the court and 2,529 "yes" votes, 284 "no" votes and 61 abstentions for the procuratorate. They were the highest approval ratings of the past ten years for the departments. The poll reflected admiration for the work done in 2014, among which efforts have been made to protect the legitimate rights and benefits of women and children.

A typical case that has aroused public discussion involved a couple from Xuzhou, a city in east China's Jiangsu Province. They were stripped of their child custody rights for gross neglect, abuse, and cruelty, as was ruled by the local people's court on January 7, 2015. This was the first case of its kind in China, marking a milestone in protecting minors through the law.

In other matters, juvenile justice has been a key focus of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. It was pointed out in the report that "a system of delegating juvenile delinquency cases to specially-assigned staff without disclosing the relevant information has been strengthened." Moreover, 4,021 minors who showed regret for their minor offenses have been corrected and educated without lawsuits.

The Supreme People's Court has been working hard in punishing criminals who have planned or participated in the trafficking of woman or children. A series of stern legal measures against criminals have been put forth, and tougher sentences are given to those who have committed multiple crimes. As a result, 1,048 cases of woman or child trafficking and child sexual abuses have been decided, with 876 criminals given fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years or even the death sentence. In addition, women's rights of equal employment have been protected by the Court and laid out as an important issue in the report for the first time in three years.

For vulnerable groups like the disabled and "left-behind" women, children and seniors (those in rural areas who have been left at home whilst parents or partners go to work in the cities), both the two departments have made great efforts to fight against criminal acts infringing their rights and benefits.

In 2015, it will continue to be a major issue to protect the legitimate rights and benefits of women and children, as was revealed in the work reports of the two departments. Hopefully, more progress will be made in the field while building a China under a strong "rule of law."

(Source: china-woman.com/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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