Prosecutors join with CYL to help minors
April 15,2019   By:China Daily

A teacher at a school in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, shows students how to recognize inappropriate behavior. (Photo/Xinhua)
April 15,2019--Prosecutors are working closely with the Communist Youth League to launch a pilot program nationwide to protect juveniles' rights, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said on Thursday.
The pilot program, initiated earlier this month will last for one year in 40 local youth social work service centers in 31 provincial-level areas, SPP spokesman Wang Songmiao said at a news conference.
The fundamental purpose of the pilot program is to "establish a social support mechanism under which prosecutors and social entities, including volunteers, experts and lawyers, will form an integrated workforce to prevent minors from committing crimes and provide timely help for victims," said Shi Weizhong, director of the SPP's No 9 prosecutorial department.
Recent cases involving harm to minors - including abandonment, abduction and physical abuse - have aroused members of the public and the media, Shi said, adding that the number of crimes committed by minors have also been on the rise because of loopholes in parental supervision and social management.
In February last year, the SPP and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League issued a statement to set up a social support mechanism to protect juveniles' legal rights.
Wang Feng, a senior CYL official, said volunteers have played an essential role in helping minors during judicial proceedings, from background investigations to offering physiological counseling, skills training and temporary placement.
To date, 106,000 qualified social volunteers in social work, education and psychology, along with 7,000 experts and lawyers, have participated in the social support mechanism to help minors, he said.
Xi Xiaohua, executive director of the Beijing Institute of Social Youth Work, said more than 300 universities across the country have created a major in social work to cultivate a professional team of volunteers, but they face some practical challenges in such cases.
She said there is little legal basis for a social support mechanism to help children. In addition, work norms and standards clearly defining the responsibilities and procedures of social volunteers and evaluating their results don't exist.
The SPP's Shi said cooperation with the CYL will be strengthened to explore social support mechanisms that are compatible with concepts of socialism with Chinese characteristics to protect the children and build experience.
Meanwhile, the authorities should speed up the revision of laws aimed at protecting minors, and to provide a legal basis for social organizations to offer legal aid.

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