China passes new law protecting minors from abuse and cyberbullying
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China passes new law protecting minors from abuse and cyberbullying

The Standing Committee of China’s 13th National People’s Congress passed a newly revised Law on the Protection of Minors at its 22nd session on Saturday.

The Law on the Protection of Minors increases the responsibility of guardians and parents towards minors. Parents or guardians of minors will now not only have to protect the life, health, and safety of minors, but will also need to tend to their physical, psychological, and emotional needs as well. Furthermore, they will be required to entrust minors under their care to a person with full civil and care capacity if they cannot fulfill these obligations.

Additionally, the law imposes an obligation on internet product and service providers to refrain from offering any addiction-inducing products or services to minors. Service providers will be required to set up time and consumption limits for the minors they service. The law also includes several provisions to combat cyberbullying. Any minor who has suffered cyberbullying, or their caregiver, will now have the right to notify network service providers to delete, block, and disconnect links associated with the content. Service providers will be required to take timely action upon such a request, to stop cyberbullying and prevent the spread of misinformation.

Finally, several provisions of the law create a mandatory obligation for schools and kindergartens to report cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment of minors. In other situations involving bullying, the guardians or parents must also be immediately informed of such behavior. The legislation also created new regulations that must be followed by schools for recruiting staff members.

The law will come into effect on June 1, 2021.