The revised law aims to protect the rights of those under the age of 18 both online and offline
Comprehensive measures to intensify online protection for young people and to prevent Internet addiction will be promoted by an amendment to the law from Tuesday, International Children’s Day.
As more teens become addicted to online games and short videos, the revised Youth Protection Act requires people from all walks of life, including parents, schools, and social institutions, to take preventive measures to prevent Internet addiction from harming young people either physically or mentally .
“We want to vigorously protect the legitimate rights of those under the age of 18 and do our best to provide them with a healthy environment in which to grow through the multiple measures of the amended law,” said Guo Linmao, a member of the Legislative Affairs Commission Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s highest legislature.
He made the remarks in a group interview last week, noting that the revised law includes a new chapter on cyberspace protection to clarify the responsibilities of each unit.
Liu Bin, another commissioner, stressed the importance of protecting children, saying, “It is a shared responsibility of all sectors of society, whether offline or online”.
“We fully respected children’s right to participate in social activities and we paid attention to their developmental needs as we revised the law,” he said. “In other words, we couldn’t restrict their access to the Internet just because their self-control is weak or they can’t distinguish well between online information.”
The amended law achieves its goals by defining the responsibilities and duties of the state, ministries, schools, families and online service providers to guide young people to civilized surfing on the Internet and to protect their rights through joint efforts.
For example, it provides that parents or other legal guardians of children should first strengthen their own legal awareness of surfing the Internet and then support and monitor the behavior of the children in cyberspace.
While parents or other guardians may require software to be installed on cell phones or computers to protect children from harmful online content, adults need to manage the time teens spend online to ensure they don’t enjoy too much.
Internet operators should not offer products or services that make such enjoyment easy, it said and ordered the providers of services such as online games, live streaming and short videos to set up time limit, rights management and consumption functions specifically for young users.
In addition, providers of educational products or services are not allowed to offer links to online games or provide advertising or other non-classroom information, it said.
In order to ensure effective implementation of the law, Guo said that at an appropriate time, a more specific ordinance will be published, drafted by government agencies under the State Council and extensively reviewed by people from many walks of life.
The law also requires the establishment of a searchable national database listing individuals convicted of sexual assault, abuse, kidnapping or violent assault on teenagers in order to prevent them from entering schools, kindergartens, educational institutions, medical service centers , Childcare facilities and departments that work with minors.
A revised Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act also went into effect on Tuesday, focusing more on scientific methods of rehabilitation for children with misconduct and building special schools to help young offenders correct their behavior.
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