China needs care center regulations to protect children: lawyers

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/13 23:33:40

Chinese legal scholars have called for stricter laws concerning day-care centers to protect children, amid a public outcry after a recent child abuse case at a travel agency's day-care center in Shanghai.

Days after videos of teachers abusing children at a company's day-care center were uploaded and triggered wide concern, more and more parents have used social media to write down similar abuse cases their children encountered in the care center of Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency.

Some parents have claimed that many of the employees at the Ctrip day-care center were involved in child abuse, Weibo user "yezi_perryyeh", who claimed to be one of those parents, said  Saturday.

A mother of one of the children who were abused in the care center of Ctrip told the Global Times that sending her son to the day-care center was the worst decision she had ever made.

"From the videos you can see that other 'teachers' were just watching them mistreat the children and doing nothing, as if they were just used to it," she said.

"But I had to do it, because kindergartens only receive children above the age of 3, and we cannot afford a nanny," she added.

According to one of the videos uploaded online, a woman was hitting a girl sitting on a chair, undressing her and smashing her backpack on the floor. Another video shows a teacher forcing a child to eat what some parents claimed to be wasabi.

Three people from the center were detained for suspicion of child abuse, police in Shanghai's Changning district said on their Sina Weibo account on Thursday.

Ctrip had opened a day-care center previously, but it was suspended because of lacking qualifications.

Though Ctrip opened the center out of goodwill to help employees, it failed to provide the proper supervision and is therefore liable, Monica Cui, executive director of Safe Kids China, a Shanghai-based NGO, told the Global Times on Monday.

On the other hand, China has no specific law on day-care centers, and these day-care centers and similar kindergartens may not be well regulated and, even if the negligence is exposed, the abusers may receive little punishment, Zhao Hu, a Beijing lawyer, told the Global Times.

Recently, two teachers were fired from a kindergarten in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, after media revealed that some children in the kindergarten where they worked had been treated violently for a long period of time.

In this case, the proper support and legislation governing the children in these centers has to be improved especially after China announced the second child policy, said Zhao.

Analysts believe that it is not only the government that needs to get involved, adding that efforts from the society are also needed.

If there are no proper regulations and if the public lost trust in these day-care centers, both the children and their parents would suffer from the risks, Zhao concluded.

Newspaper headline: Day-care abuse problems get worse

Posted in: SOCIETY

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