Sat, May 03, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Parents of unruly children will be punished severely

NEW LAW In what could be the toughest child protection statute in Asia, the parents of children who smoke or drink will face significant fines


The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed a new law which will penalize parents for their children's misbehavior.

This will include smoking and drinking, in what could certainly become the toughest child protection statute in Asia, officials said.

"The Children and Juvenile Welfare Law (兒童及少年福 利法), aimed at protecting youngsters under 18 years old, was approved during the final review meeting yesterday," said Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyne (王金平).

Under the law, parents and guardians will be fined from NT$3,000 to NT$300,000 (US$86 to US$8,600) for negligence if they don't watch out for their children.

If their children are caught smoking, drinking, chewing betel nut, taking drugs, motorbike drag racing, running away from school or home, viewing violent or pornographic TV, radio, videos and printed materials, the parents will be held responsible and will be charged.

Adults caught providing cigarettes, liquor and betel nuts to their charges will be fined up to NT$15,000.

Those caught giving minors drugs will be fined up to NT$300,000 and jailed.

The new law also requires parents and guardians to prevent their children from going to sex clubs and video game arcades.

Those leaving their children under six at home alone will be fined up to NT$15,000.

No one is allowed to abuse, abandon or force their child to do anything illegal.

Parents may also not deprive children of compulsory education or force them to marry others, according to the law.

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