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National Committee Needed for 'Left-behind' Minors

A national committee for the protection of minors is necessary to better protect children's rights and interests, as millions of rural children are left behind by parents who seek jobs in the cities, said a political advisor on Sunday.

Erkenjiang Tulahong, secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China and vice president of the All-China Youth Federation, made the suggestion at the annual session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The number of "left-behind" rural Chinese children, whose parents have gone to work in cities, is about 58 million, accounting for 21.72 percent of rural children aged 17 or less, according to a report by the All-China Women's Federation released early February.

Tulahong, also a political advisor, said that there are almost one million homeless minors in Chinese cities, and four million minors indulged themselves in the Internet games, and the juvenile delinquency rate kept rising.

He said a national agency for minors is needed to coordinate different departments across the country to work out an effective framework to better protect juvenile rights and interests as well as carrying out inspections on the work of local committees in 346 cities.

"The lack of a national committee for the protection of minors made the protection work lag far behind the real situation since new problems concerning juveniles emerged during China's transitional period," he said.

It is also required by the Committee on the Rights of Minors of the United Nations that every country should set up an independent institution to promote and protect the rights and interests of minors, he added.

He proposed that the committee for the protection of minors be settled in the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League.

(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2008)

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