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New Rules for Children

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Children under 16 should not stay out overnight or live alone outside their families, according to a new regulation on minors' protection in south China's Guangdong Province.

The regulation came into effect on January 1.

The regulation emphasized the responsibilities of parents or guardians to protect minors from addiction to the Internet, alcohol, cigarettes, or leading a vagrant life, said Yang Jianguang, who was in charge of drafting the regulation.

"These are the new problems threatening the growth of minors, or children under 18, since Chinese society has seen significant changes in recent years," he said.

Among other rules were that minors should not be left alone in vehicles.

The regulation also stipulates schools provide more toilets for girls.

China's revised law on protection of minors came into effect on June 1, 2007, after which local authorities had their own specific regulations.

(Xinhua News Agency January 3, 2009)

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