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Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors (Revised in 2012)

By Todd KuhnsPublished on Jan 1, 2013
Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors (Revised in 2012)

Effective Date: 01-01-2013

Source: Government Website

Chinese Title: 中华人民共和国未成年人保护法 (2012修正)

(Adopted at the 21st session of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People’s Congress on September 4, 1991 and promulgated on the same day under the President Decree No.50 of the People’s Republic of China; revised for the first time at the 25th session of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People’s Congress on December 29, 2006 and promulgated on the same day under the Presidential Decree No. 60 of the People’s Republic of China; and revised for the second time according to the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on the Revision of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors adopted at the 29th session of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People’s Congress on October 26, 2012 and promulgated on the same day under the Presidential Decree No. 65 of the People’s Republic of China, with effect as of January 1, 2013)

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 This Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution in order to protect the physical and mental health of minors, safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, promote their all-round development morally, intellectually and physically, and cultivate them as qualified builders and successors of the socialist cause with lofty ideals, sound morality, good education and a good sense of discipline.

Article 2 For the purpose of this Law, “minors” refer to citizens under the age of eighteen.

Article 3 Minors enjoy the right to life, the right to development, the right to being protected and the right to participation. The state shall, in consideration of minors’ physical and mental development features, provide minors with particular and preferential protection, and safeguard minors’ legitimate rights and interests from being infringed. Minors enjoy the right to receive education. The state, the society, schools and families shall respect and ensure minors’ right to receive education.

Minors equally enjoy rights under the law regardless of their gender, ethnicity, race, family property status and religious belief, etc.

Article 4 The state, society, schools and families shall educate minors in respect of ideals, morality, culture, discipline and legal system as well as patriotism, collectivism and socialism, foster among them the social ethics of loving the motherland, people, work, science and socialism, and fight against the corrosive influences of bourgeois, feudal and other decadent ideologies.

Article 5 The protection of minors shall follow the following principles:

1. Respecting the personality and dignity of minors;

2. In line with the law and features of minors’ physical and mental development; and

3. Combining education with protection.

Article 6 Protecting minors is the common responsibility of state organs, armed forces, political parties, social organizations, enterprises, public institutions, self-governing mass organizations at grass-root levels in urban and rural areas, guardians of minors, and other adult citizens. Any organization or individual has the right to dissuade or stop any activity infringing upon the legitimate rights and interests of minors, or report or sue such activities to the relevant department.

The state, society, schools and families shall educate and help minors to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, enhance their consciousness and capacities of protecting themselves, and enhance their sense of social responsibility.

Article 7 State organs at the central or local level shall properly protect minors ex officio. The State Council and the local people’s governments at all levels shall lead relevant departments in properly protecting minors; include the work of protection of minors into the national economic and social development planning and their annual plans, and incorporate the relevant expenses into the budget of the governments at their respective levels.

The State Council and the people’s governments of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall take organizational measures to coordinate the relevant departments in properly protecting minors. The specific bodies shall be prescribed by the State Council and the people’s government of each province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government.

Article 8 The Communist Youth League organs, women’s federations, trade unions, youth federations, students’ federations, young pioneers’ organizations and other social organizations shall assist the people’s governments at all levels in properly protecting minors and safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of minors.

Article 9 The people’s governments at all levels and the departments concerned shall commend and reward the organizations and individuals that have made prominent achievements in the protection of minors.

Chapter II Protection by the Family

Article 10 Parents or other guardians shall create a good and harmonious family environment, as well as fulfill their guardianship duties and obligations to provide minors with support according to law.I t is prohibited to commit family violence against minors, or to maltreat or forsake minors. It is also prohibited to infanticide or otherwise cruelly kill infants. No one may discriminate against female or handicapped minors.

Article 11 Parents or other guardians shall pay attention to minors’ physiological and psychological conditions as well as their behavioral habits, cultivate and influence minors in respect of healthy ideology, good morality and proper methods, guide minors to carry out activities that are conducive to their physical and mental health, prevent and stop minors from smoking, excessively drinking, living a vagrant life, being indulgent with network, gambling, taking drugs, or prostitution, etc.

Article 12 Parents or other guardians shall lean family education knowledge, correctly perform guardianship duties, foster and educate minors. The relevant state organs and social organizations shall provide minors’ parents or other guardians with guidance on family education.

Article 13 Parents or other guardians shall respect minors’ right to receive education, must ensure school entrance of school-aged minors to receive and complete compulsory education according to law, and shall not discontinue the schooling of the minors who shall receive compulsory education at school.

Article 14 When making a decision in relation to a minor’s rights and interests, the minor’s parents or other guardians shall take into account the minor’s age and intellectual development status, have the minor informed thereof, and listen to the minor’s opinions.

Article 15 A minor’s parents or other guardians may not permit or force the minors to marry, nor may they make an engagement for the minor.

Article 16 Where a minor’s parents are unable to perform their guardianship duties to the minor due to working away from hometown or any other reasons, they shall entrust adults with the capacity of guardianship to guard the minor on their behalf.

Chapter III Protection by School

Article 17 Schools shall implement the state’s guideline for education in an all-round way, practice quality-oriented education, improve the quality of education, pay attention to cultivating minor students’ independent thinking capacities, innovation capacities and practice capacities, and promote minor students to develop in an all-round way.

Article 18 Schools shall respect minor students’ right to receive education, show concern for and take good care of students; for the students who have shortcomings in conduct or difficulties in study, the school shall provide patient education and help, and may not discriminate against them or expel any minor student in violation of the law or regulations of the state.

Article 19 Schools shall, in light of physical and mental development features of minor students, provide minors with social life guidance, psychological health tutorship and adolescence education.

Article 20 Schools shall cooperate with the parents or other guardians of minor students in ensuring minor students’ time for sleep, recreation and physical trainings, and shall not aggravate their burdens of study.

Article 21 The teaching and administrative staff of schools, kindergartens and nurseries shall respect the personality and dignity of minors, and may not commit corporal punishment directly or in disguised forms against minors, or commit any other activities that humiliates the personality and dignity of minors.

Article 22 Schools, kindergartens and nurseries shall establish a safety system, strengthen the safety education for minors, and take measures to guarantee the personal safety of minors. Schools, kindergartens or nurseries may not carry out education or teaching activities in school buildings or in other facilities and sites that endanger the personal safety or health of minors.

Collective activities organized by schools or kindergartens for minors, such as taking part in gatherings, recreational activities and social practices, shall be conducive to the healthy growth of minors; and accidents endangering personal safety shall be prevented.

Article 23 The education administrative departments, schools, kindergartens and nurseries shall work out plans as required to respond to various emergencies such as disasters, infectious diseases, food poisoning, unexpected injuries, etc., be equipped with corresponding facilities and carry out necessary drillings, so as to enhance minors’ consciousness and capacities of self-protection.

Article 24 A school shall, when a personal injury accident occurs in an activity of minor students either within the school or in such an activity organized by the school outside, timely rescue the injured, make appropriate treatment, and report the accident to the relevant competent department without delay.

Article 25 Schools and the parents or other guardians shall cooperate with each other to control and educate the badly behaved minor students who receive education in schools; if they are unable to control and educate such minor students or their control and education fail to be effective, they may send such minor students to special schools according to relevant provisions for continuing their education. A local people’s government that establishes special schools according to law shall guarantee the conditions for running the special schools. The education administrative department shall strengthen the administration and guidance of the special schools, and the relevant departments shall provide assistance and cooperation.

A special school shall offer ideological, cultural, disciplinary, legal, labor skill, and occupational education for the minor students who study in the school.

The teaching and administrative staff of special schools shall show concern for, take good care of and respect students, instead of discriminating against, detesting or rejecting them.

Article 26 Kindergartens shall do a good job in nursing care and education, so as to promote the infants to develop harmoniously in such aspects as physical strength, intellect and morality, etc.

Chapter IV Protection by the Society

Article 27 The whole society shall establish a good atmosphere of respecting, protecting and educating minors, show concern for and take good care of minors. The state encourages social organizations, enterprises, public institutions and other organizations and individuals to carry out social activities that are conducive to the healthy growth of minors in various forms.

Article 28 The people’s governments at all levels shall guarantee minors’ right to receive education, and take measures to ensure that the minors whose families have economic difficulties or who are disabled and the minors among floating population can receive compulsory education.

Article 29 The people’s governments at all levels shall establish and improve sites and facilities meeting the needs in minors’ cultural lives, encourage private sectors to establish activity sites suitable for minors, and strengthen the administration.

Article 30 Patriotism education bases, libraries, youth and children’s palaces and children’s activity centers shall be open to minors free of charge. Museums, memorial halls, scientific and technological centers, exhibition halls, art galleries, cultural centers, cinemas, theatres, stadiums, gymnasiums, zoos, parks and other similar sites shall be open to minors free of charge or at preferential fee rates according to relevant provisions.

Article 31 The people’s governments at and above the county level and their education administrative departments shall take measures to encourage and support elementary and high schools to open cultural and sports facilities to minors free of charge or at preferential fee rates during holidays. The public welfare internet access service facilities in residential areas shall be open to minors free of charge or at preferential fee rates, and shall provide minors with safe and healthy internet access services.

Article 32 The state encourages entities of press, publication, information industry, broadcasting, film and television, art and literature, as well as writers, artists, scientists and other citizens to create or provide works conducive to the healthy growth of minors. The state shall render support for the publishing, production and dissemination of healthy books, newspapers, magazines, audio and video products, electronic publications, and network information, etc. that specially target minors. The state encourages scientific research institutions and scientific and technological organizations to carry out scientific knowledge dissemination activities for minors.

Article 33 The state shall take measures to prevent minors from being indulgent with network. The state encourages the research and development network products conducive to the healthy growth of minors, as well as the popularization of new technologies used for preventing minors from being indulgent with network.

Article 34 Any organization or individual is prohibited from selling, leasing, or disseminating by any other means to minors the books, newspapers, magazines, audio and video products, electronic publications, or network information, etc. of pornography, violence, homicide, terror or gambling, etc. that are harmful to minors.

Article 35 The food, drugs, toys, utensils and amusement facilities, etc. produced for and sold to minors shall meet the national standards or industrial standards, and may not be harmful to the safety or health of minors. Any necessary precautions shall be indicated at an eye-catching position.

Article 36 No site unsuitable for minors, such as commercial singing and dancing recreation site or internet access service site, etc. may be established nearby elementary or high schools. No site unsuitable for minors, such as commercial singing and dancing recreation site or internet access service business site, etc. may allow minors to enter. The business operator shall set up a sign prohibiting minors’ entry at an eye-catching position; or shall, if it is hard to determine whether a customer is an adult, require him/her to show his/her identity document.

Article 37 It is prohibited to sell cigarettes or alcohol to minors, and any business operator shall set up a sign of not selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors at an eye-catching position; or shall, if it is hard to determine whether a customer is an adult, require him/her to show his/her identity document. No one may smoke or drink alcohol in the classroom, dormitory or recreational room of an elementary or high school, kindergarten, nursery, or in any other place where minors gather for activities.

Article 38 No organization or individual may hire any minor under the age of sixteen, except as otherwise prescribed by the state. Any organization or individual that recruits minors over the age of sixteen but under the age of eighteen according to relevant provisions of the state shall implement relevant provisions of the state in respect of the types of jobs, working hours, intensity of work and protective measures, etc., and may not assign to them any job or dangerous operation endangering their physical and mental health, which are over-strenuous, poisonous or harmful, etc.

Article 39 No organization or individual may disclose the personal privacy of minors. No organization or individual may conceal, destroy or discard the mail, diary or e-mail of any minor, and no organization or individual may open or consult it unless so required for the investigation of a crime, in which case, the public security organ or the people’s procuratorate may make an inspection, or the parents or other guardians may open and consult the mail diary or e-mail of any minor without capacity of conduct on his or her behalf.

Article 40 When an emergency occurs in a school, kindergarten, nursery or public site, minors shall be rescued in priority.

Article 41 It is prohibited to abduct, kidnap or maltreat minors, or to commit sexual assault against minors.It is prohibited to coerce, entice or make use of minors to go begging, or to organize minors to carry out the activities such as performances which are harmful to their physical and mental health.

Article 42 Public security organs shall take effective measures to maintain the public security and traffic order around schools according to law, as well as prevent and stop illegal or criminal activities which infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of minors. No organization or individual may disturb the teaching order, or encroach upon or destroy the sites, houses or facilities of any school, kindergarten or nursery.

Article 43 The people’s governments at and above the county level and the civil affairs departments shall establish relief sites, when necessary, to relieve the minors who live a vagrant life and go begging without living sources, and assume temporary guardianship duties; the public security departments or other relevant departments shall escort the minors who live a vagrant life and go begging or flee from their homes to the relief sites, and the relief sites shall relieve and take appropriate care of them, and timely notify their parents or other guardians to bring them back. For orphans and the minors whose parents or other guardians cannot be found out, and for other minors having no living sources, the welfare organizations for children established by the civil affairs departments shall take them in and raise them.

Minor relief agencies, children welfare institutions and their staff shall perform their duties according to law, and shall not maltreat or discriminate against minors; nor may they seek benefits in the work of taking minors in and raising them.

Article 44 Authorities of public health and schools shall provide sanitary, health-care and nutrition guidance for minors, provide them with necessary sanitary and health-care conditions, and do a good job in preventing diseases. Authorities of public health shall do a good job in preventive inoculation for children, and the preventive inoculation items under state immunity planning shall be offered free of charge; authorities of public health shall also actively prevent common and frequently-occurred diseases among children, strengthen supervision and control over the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, and strengthen the professional guidance, supervision and inspection of sanitation and health-care work in nurseries and kindergartens.

Article 45 The local people’s governments at all levels shall actively develop childcare undertakings, strive to run nurseries and kindergartens well, support independent organizations and individuals to establish nursing rooms, nurseries and kindergartens according to law. The people’s governments and relevant departments at all levels shall foster and train childcare and teaching staff in nurseries and kindergartens in various forms, so as to enhance their professional ethics and competence.

Article 46 The state shall, according to law, protect minors’ intellectual achievements and their right to honor from being infringed.

Article 47 For the minors who have completed the prescribed length of schooling in terms of compulsory education and will not receive education at a higher level, the relevant governmental departments, social organizations, enterprises and public institutions shall, in light of the actual conditions, provide them with vocational education and create conditions for their employment.

Article 48 Residents’ committees and villagers’ committees shall assist relevant departments in educating and redeeming the minors who have involved in illegal or criminal activities, prevent and stop the illegal or criminal activities that infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of minors.

Article 49 Where a minor’s legitimate rights and interests are infringed, the minor, the minor’s guardians or any other organizations and individuals have the right to complain to the department concerned, and the said department shall timely deal with the complaint according to law.

Chapter V Judicial Protection

Article 50 Public security organs, people’s procuratorates, people’s courts and judicial administrative departments shall perform their duties according to law, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of minors in judicial activities.

Article 51 Where a minor whose legitimate rights and interests are infringed brings a lawsuit to a people’s court according to law, the people’s court shall hear the case timely according to law and, in consideration of the minor’s physiological and psychological features and the needs in his/her healthy growth, safeguard the minor’s legitimate rights and interests. For the minors who need legal aid or judicial relief in judicial activities, the legal aid agencies or the people’s courts shall assist them in this regard, and provide them with legal aid or judicial relief according to law.

Article 52 In hearing a case concerning inheritance, the people’s court concerned shall protect the right of inheritance and the right to receive bequests of the minor involved according to law.In hearing a case of divorce, if a dispute arises between the two parties over the raising of a minor child, the people’s court concerned shall listen to the opinions of the minor child if he/her is capable of expressing his/her will, and deal with the case under the principle of safeguarding the rights and interests of the child and in light of the specific conditions of both parties.

Article 53 Where a minor’s parents or other guardians fail to perform their guardianship duties or infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of the minor under their guardianship, and fail to make a correction after being educated, the people’s court concerned may, upon application of the person or entity concerned, disqualify them from guardianship, and designate another guardian according to law. The parents who have been disqualified from guardianship shall continue to bear the fosterage expenses according to law.

Article 54 It is required to treat the minors who have violated laws or committed crimes under the guidelines of education, persuasion and redemption and the principle of taking education as the main method and punishment as the subsidiary method. The minors who have violated laws or have committed crimes shall be given lighter or mitigated penalties or be exempted from penalties according to law.

Article 55 In dealing with cases involving crimes committed by minors and cases involving the protection of the rights and interests of minors, public security organs, people’s procuratorates and people’s courts shall, take their physical and mental features into consideration, respect their personality and dignity, safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, and may set up a special agency or designate persons, if necessary, to handle such cases.

Article 56 When minor criminal suspects or minor accused persons are interrogated or tried, or minor witness or victims are examined, their legal representatives or other persons shall be informed to be present in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedures Law. Public security organs, people’s procuratorates and people’s courts shall protect the reputation of the victims when they handle criminal cases on sexual assaults against minors.

Article 57 The minors who are under custody or are serving a sentence shall be locked up separately from adults.Where the minors who are under custody or are serving a sentence have not completed compulsory education, compulsory education shall be offered to them.

The minors who have been released from custody or have completed their sentence shall not be discriminated against in their resumption of study, entry into a higher school or employment.

Article 58 With regard to a case on a crime committed by a minor, the news report, film or radio program, public publication, or website, etc. shall not disclose the minor’s name, domicile, photos, images, or other materials from which the minor might be deduced.

Article 59 The correction and cure of badly behaved minors and the prevention of their criminal activities shall be subject to the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency.

Chapter VI Legal Liability

Article 60 For any infringement upon the legitimate rights and interests of a minor, which violates the provisions of this Law, if other laws and regulations have provided administrative penalties, such provisions shall prevail; if any personal or property loss or other damage is caused, the offender shall bear civil liability according to law; and if any crime is constituted, the offender shall be investigated and prosecuted for criminal liability according to law.

Article 61 Where a governmental organ or any of its staff members fails to perform its/his duties of protecting the legitimate rights and interests of minors according to law, infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of minors, or retaliate against those who make complaints, charges or tip-offs, it/he shall be ordered by the governmental organ or the superior organ to make a correction, while the person directly in charge and other directly liable persons shall be imposed administrative sanctions according to law.

Article 62 Where a minor’s parent or any other guardian fails to perform his/her guardianship duties according to law, or infringes upon the legitimate rights and interests of the minor, the said parent or guardian shall be exhorted to perform the duties or be stopped from doing so by his/her employer, the residents’ committee or the villagers’ committee concerned; if his/her acts constitute a violation of the public security administration regulations, he/she shall be imposed administrative penalties by the public security organ according to law.

Article 63 Where a school, kindergarten or nursery infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of any minor, it shall be ordered by the education administrative department or any other department concerned to make a correction; in a serious case, the person directly in charge and other directly liable persons shall be given sanctions according to law. Where any of the teaching or administrative staff members in a school, kindergarten or nursery imposes any corporal punishment either directly or in disguised forms upon any minor or otherwise insults personality to minors, he/she shall be ordered by his/her employer or the superior organ to make a correction; in a serious case, he/she shall be given sanctions according to law.

Article 64 Whoever makes or sells, leases or disseminates by any other means to minors books, newspapers, magazines, audio and video products, electronic publications or network information, etc. of pornography, violence, homicide, terror or gambling, etc. shall be ordered by the competent department to make a correction, and be imposed administrative penalties according to law.

Article 65 Whoever produces or sells food, drugs, toys, utensils or amusement facilities, etc. for minors, which fail to meet the national standards or industrial standards or fail to indicate the points for attention at an eye-catching position, shall be ordered by the competent department to make a correction, and be imposed administrative penalties according to law.

Article 66 Where anyone establishes a site unsuitable for minors’ activities such as a commercial singing and dancing recreation site or an internet access service business site nearby an elementary or high school, such a site shall be closed up by the competent department, and he/she shall be imposed administrative penalties according to law. Where a place unsuitable for minors to participate in the activities such as a commercial singing and dancing recreation site or internet access service business site permits minors to enter, or does not set up a sign prohibiting minors’ entry at an eye-catching position, it shall be ordered by the competent department to make a correction, and shall be imposed administrative penalties according to law.

Article 67 Whoever sells cigarettes or alcohol to minors or fails to set up a sign of not selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors at an eye-catching position shall be ordered by the competent department to make a correction, and be imposed administrative penalties according to law.

Article 68 Whoever illegally hires any minor who has not reached the age of sixteen, or hires any minor above the age of sixteen and assigns to him any work or dangerous operation endangering the physical and mental health of minors, which are over-strenuous, poisonous or harmful, shall be ordered by the relevant labor and social security department to make a correction, and be given a fine; in a serious case, its business license shall be revoked by the relevant administrative department for industry and commerce.

Article 69 Where anyone infringe upon a minor’s privacy, and his/her acts constitute a violation of public security administration, he/she shall be imposed administrative penalties by the public security organ according to law.

Article 70 Where a minor relief agency, a children welfare institution or any of its staff members fails to perform the relief and protection duties to minors according to law, or maltreats or discriminates against minors, or seeks benefits in handling the work of accepting minors into its/his/her fosterage, it/he/she shall be ordered by the competent department to make a correction, and be given administrative sanctions according to law.

Article 71 Whoever coerces, entices or makes use of minors to go begging, or organizes minors to carry out performances or other activities that are harmful to their physical and mental health shall be imposed administrative penalties by the public security organ according to law.

Chapter VII Supplementary Provisions

Article 72 This Law shall come into force on June 1, 2007.

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