2021-01-20 11:09:03

China’s top legislative body is considering a new parenting law that would better protect children from abuse, including provisions that would make gender-based discrimination unlawful.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Wednesday proposed a draft of the Family Education Law, which explicitly prohibits any form of abuse or discrimination by parents. The draft also makes it obligatory for parents to take care of their children after divorce and outlines the state’s role in parenting.

“(Parents) cannot discriminate against children based on their gender or health condition, and are not allowed to abuse them in any form,” it said.

The draft of the Family Education Law is part of the central government’s 2016-2020 five-year plan to “care for the next generation.” It comes after the country’s revised child protection law, as well as its anti-domestic violence law, both of which safeguard the rights and safety of children.

Though unlawful, the physical and mental abuse of children by their parents remains common in China, and there is still a lingering preference for sons over daughters.

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Header image: Yaanyutochka/VectorStock/People Visual, re-edited by Sixth Tone)