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Women's groups at the forefront of the battle to protect youngsters

Updated: 07 06 , 2015 10:39
China Daily Small  Medium  Large Email Print

In June 2013, a group of female reporters from China's national media and the All-China Women's Federation established a public welfare project to prevent the sexual abuse of minors.

The project - which has the guaranteed participation of 100 female reporters from outlets including People's Daily and China Youth Daily - was established with finance provided by the China Social Assistance Federation in a bid to protect the legal rights of minors and keep them away from sexual harassment.

Between June 2013 and March last year, the reporters traveled to a large number of provinces and regions to interview victims and their families, and also conducted research into cases of child sexual abuse. Last year, they published a report of their findings during the "two sessions" - the annual meetings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political and Consultative Conference.

The report cited statistics showing that the media carried reports of more than 120 cases involving the sexual abuse of young girls last year, and that those aged 8 to 14 were the most-vulnerable group.

Recent years have seen a spate of such cases, in which minors suffered serious physical and mental harm.

The reporters, together with more than 10 leading experts on education, psychology, society and the law, devised a 45-minute lesson plan of preventive education about sexual harassment for minors. The plan has been used as a teaching aid to provide free less-ons to primary schools and offer relevant training to the children.

Moreover, the project prompted local education departments, women's unions and other public welfare organizations to take effective measures, including issuing pamphlets, organizing lectures and opening hotlines, to safeguard the legal rights of minors and prevent sexual crimes against children.

Between June 2013 and July last year, the reporters gave lectures about preventive measures to more than 9,000 minors in 20 provinces, and also worked with education departments and women's federations to issue 100,000 "self-help" manuals.

One of the reporters, Sun Xuemei from Beijing News, said: "The priority is to improve preventive education for minors and improve the relevant laws to protect them as they grow up."