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Full text: New Progress in the Judicial Protection of Human Rights in China

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

09-12-2016 14:33 BJT

Bring to justice criminals who infringe the rights of minors, and strengthen the protection of minors' rights. In 2013, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice jointly issued the Opinions on Legally Punishing the Crime of Sexual Assault Against Minors, highlighting protection of minor victims' rights and severe punishment of criminals engaging in sexual assault against minors. In October 2014, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued the Opinions on Several Issues Concerning Law-based Handling of the Infringement of the Rights and Interests of Minors by Their Guardians, deciding that guardianship of parents or other guardians who sexually assault, treat with violence, abuse and abandon minors will be revoked according to law. Amendment (IX) to the Criminal Law abolishes the crime of sex with a girl under the age of 14, and stipulates that whoever has sexual relations with a girl under the age of 14, as applicable to the Criminal Law, shall be deemed to have committed rape and shall be given a heavier punishment. It also stipulates that anyone who maltreats a minor or an elderly person whom they are responsible for guarding and nursing, if the case is serious, shall be sentenced to imprisonment or criminal detention of not more than three years. From 2013 to 2015, people's courts at all levels concluded 7,610 cases involving child molestation, and sentenced 6,620 criminals; and concluded 224 criminal cases of maltreatment. In 2015, the People's Court of Tongshan District, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province concluded the first case of revoking the guardianship of a minor's parents. Public security organs have strengthened police on campus and in surrounding areas, and effectively maintained campus safety. Around the country, 170,000 police offices and security sentry boxes have been set up in surrounding areas of schools, and 260,000 posts for protecting students have been set up, representing a daily patrol force of 300,000. Schools have employed 700,000 security guards and provided them with 1.2 million items of protective equipment, and installed 680,000 sets of equipment for technical defense.

Strictly control the death penalty and employ it with prudence to ensure that it applies only to a very small number of extremely serious criminal offenders. Following the Amendment (VIII) to the Criminal Law in 2011 which abolishes the death penalty for 13 economy-related, non-violent offenses, Amendment (IX) to the Criminal Law, adopted in 2015, again reduces the number of crimes for capital punishment, abolishing the death penalty for nine areas of crime: smuggling arms and ammunitions, smuggling nuclear materials, smuggling counterfeit currency notes, counterfeiting currency, illegally raising funds, organizing others for prostitution, forcing others into prostitution, obstructing commanders or personnel in the performance of their military duties, and creating rumors and misleading the people during time of war. Amendment (IX) to the Criminal Law also extends the possibility of reprieve in cases of capital sentence. In death penalty cases, the defendant's right to defense and other legitimate rights and interests are fully protected, as hearings are held for all death penalty cases of second instance. When the Supreme People's Court reviews a death penalty case, it focuses on interrogating the defendant in accordance with the law, and listening to opinions of the defense counsel.

Try civil and commercial cases by law to effectively protect people's right of livelihood. From 2012 to 2015, courts at all levels concluded 32,302,400 civil and commercial cases. Among these, 90,100 involved rural contract disputes, 10,000 involved homestead disputes, and 6,611,600 cases involved marriage and family, upbringing and inheritance. The courts properly handled cases relating to personal injury, employment, education, health care, housing, and other areas closely related to people's daily and working life, protecting people's livelihood according to the law. From 2012 to 2015, people's courts at all levels concluded a total of 2,334,300 such cases.

Hear cases involving the environment or resource use to protect citizens' environmental rights. In June 2014, the Supreme People's Court established a tribunal for lawsuits involving the environment and resource use. As of 2015, courts of 24 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) had established 456 tribunals, collegial benches and circuit courts for environment cases. From 2012 to 2015, courts at all levels concluded a total of 495,500 such cases. From 2013 to 2015, the Supreme People's Court notified the public of 33 typical environment cases on four occasions, trying to ensure environment and resource laws are properly applied in a comprehensive, correct, and consistent way, and to promote environmental protection on the basis of the law.

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