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Its placement on the Tier 2 Watch List is due to its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking, specifically its inadequate protection for trafficking victims, particularly foreign women and P. The “serious circumstances” include (i) raping women or minors; (ii) raping a number of women or girls under the age of fourteen; (iii) raping a woman in public; (iv) raping in rotation by more than two offenders; and (v) causing serious injury or death to the victim or any other serious consequences.[71] Indecent assault against a woman’s will, or by force, may result in up to five years imprisonment. If the offence happens in public, the sentence may be over five years.[72] Sodomy committed against minors under fourteen years old may result in heavier punishment in the abovementioned range of punishments.[73] Promiscuity may result in imprisonment for up to five years or forced labor under the PRC Criminal Law. Distributing pornography to minors under age eighteen is punishable by a heavier penalty within the punishments for distributing pornography.[78] Back to Top The general age requirement for bearing criminal responsibility under Chinese law is sixteen. A person aged from fourteen to sixteen bears criminal responsibility in intentionally committing serious criminal offenses spelled out in the Criminal Law, including homicide, rape, and robbery. Those who lure minors into promiscuity will be punished by a heavier penalty.[74] Organizing or compelling others to prostitution may result in fixed-term imprisonment from five years to ten years and a fine. Organizing or compelling girls under the age of fourteen to prostitution, however, may result in a fixed-term imprisonment from ten years to life imprisonment or even the death penalty and confiscation of property.[75] Inducing girls under the age of fourteen into prostitution may result in fixed-term imprisonment of five years and fine.[76] Having sex with girls under the age of fourteen who are acting as prostitutes may result in a fixed-term imprisonment of five years and fine.[77] The PRC Criminal Law does not specifically regulate child pornography.

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The Minors Protection Law requires the judiciary to protect minors’ legal rights during judicial proceedings.[80] There are ten articles in this law specifically dealing with judicial protection.

Back to Top Major international documents relating to children’s rights that the PRC government has signed and ratified are as follows: It is worth noting that when deciding on ratification of the CRC, the PRC Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC, China’s top legislative body) made a reservation to Article 6 of the CRC on the inherent right to life, stating that China shall fulfill its obligation provided by this article under the prerequisite of planned birth provided by Article 25 of the PRC Constitution.[15] In addition, China signed but did not ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 on October 5, 1998, which, up to now, has not taken effect in China.[16] With regard to the implementation of its promises for international cooperation, the Chinese government reported in its 2004 human rights white paper that it “conscientiously wrote its first reports on the implementation of the “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” and the “Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.”[17] It also claimed to have held a seminar on the questionnaire of the UN Independent Expert on Violence against Children, “given an honest, detailed answer to it, and submitted it to the United Nations.”[18] In addition, “in December 2004, China submitted to the United Nations its answer to the questionnaire on child pornography on the Internet based on careful study.”[19] Back to Top The primary law governing child health in China is (promulgated by the NPC Standing Committee, effective June 1, 1995) (Maternal and Infant Health Law).[20] According to Article 2 of the Maternal and Infant Health Law, “[t]he State shall develop maternal and infant health care projects and provide the necessary environments and material aids so as to ensure that mothers and infants receive medical and health care services.” The 135-article law covers pre-marital healthcare, pre-natal and post-natal healthcare, administrative provisions for medical assistance and facilities for treatment and health.

The law requires medical institutions to offer pre-marital healthcare service, including health instruction, consultation, and medical examination.[21] In cases of certain serious genetic disease found through the examination, long-term contraceptive measures or performance of tubal ligation operations shall be taken upon the agreement of the marrying couple.[22] Medical institutions are also required to provide pre-natal and post-natal healthcare, including instructions, healthcare services for pregnant women, women ready for delivery at the hospital, fetuses, and newborns.[23] As the body authorized to implement the law, the PRC State Council (China’s cabinet) issued an Implementation Rules of the Maternal and Infant Health Law in 2001.[24] It is worth noting that although the law sets up the duties for medical institutions and local governments in offering and assisting maternal and infant healthcare, the services are not always free.

In practice, enforcement of the treaty obligations and the legislative declarations remains a huge problem.

(PDF, 106KB) The People’s Republic of China (PRC)[1] declares that it protects a wide range of children’s rights through domestic legislation and by ratifying and joining the relevant international treaties.

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