China enhances judicial protection for minors against sexual violations
The Supreme People's Court (SPC) and the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) jointly issued a judicial interpretation on Thursday, pledging severe punishment for crimes such as rape, sexual molestation, and indecency targeting minors.
On the same day, the SPC, the SPP, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), and the Ministry of Justice issued another document on handling cases involving sexual assaults against minor victims.
The judicial interpretation vows strengthened efforts to ensure special and preferential protection for minors, including outlawing indecency conducted via the Internet.
It further specifies detailed rules regarding circumstances for which the convicts should receive heavier punishments, such as crimes by those responsible for the care of minor victims.
Also, the interpretation stresses the immature state of the minors' physical and mental condition must be considered during the cases.
He Li, a senior justice of the SPC's criminal tribunal, said rape and other sexual violations against minors seriously infringe upon the victims' physical and mental well-being and are condemned by the public, noting that the courts will enhance their work in the relevant fields to ensure healthy growth of the minors.
According to the document by the four authorities, these cases should be handled by special departments or special personnel.
Moreover, it covers the rules for the investigation and evidence-collection processes in relevant cases. It further requires legal-aid agencies to assign lawyers familiar with juveniles' physical and mental characteristics to provide legal aid services.
Chen Shiqu, deputy head of the MPS criminal investigation department, said the police authorities would maintain a heavy-handed approach in cracking down on relevant crimes and carry out special campaigns to ensure juvenile safety in schools.