Children take legislators' seats and offer advice

Chen Huizhi
Twenty-five local school children had their first experience as legislators and seem to have enjoyed their session at the Shanghai People's Congress.
Chen Huizhi
Shot by Chen Huizhi. Edited by Chen Huizhi. Subtitles by Chen Huizhi.
Children take legislators' seats and offer advice
Chen Huizhi / SHINE

The children are seated in the meeting hall of the standing committee of the Shanghai People's Congress to deliberate on legislative matters.

The Shanghai People's Congress, the city's legislature, opened its door to 25 children on Thursday and put their advice and suggestions on the draft revision of the local juvenile protection law.

Taking the seats of members of the standing committee of the congress, the children had a real-life experience of deliberating and voting on legislative matters.

The children, who were from primary and middle schools around the city, are student journalists of Children's Daily, a prestigious children's newspaper founded in Shanghai in 1967.

They gave advice on the film rating system, healthy Internet content and games for juveniles, school bus safety, affordable access to more sports facilities in the city, psychological help to students and other issues.

The draft revision of the juvenile protection law is currently pending a second reading in the city's legislature.

The students seem to have enjoyed the experience on Thursday.

Wang Xinglin, a ninth-grader from Shanghai No. 1 Experimental School Affiliated to Shanghai International Studies University, said she felt it was an honor to take part.

"I was a bit nervous when I spoke from my seat, but it was a way for me to exert my democratic right," she said. "I hope to become a legislator myself one day and work here."

Some officials of the congress as well as those from the city government were present at the meeting and communicated with the students.

Mo Fuchun, vice director of the standing committee of the congress, said some of the students' ideas were beyond his expectations.

"Whatever professions you choose for yourselves in the future, I hope you will remember your dream from school age to always carry your country in your heart and serve the people here," he told the students.

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