China will provide greater protection for juvenile crime victims and educate underage offenders to make sure minors' rights are protected by the law, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said on Wednesday.
New measures will be introduced to safeguard the reputation and identity of underage victims, particularly victims of sexual crimes.
Meanwhile, greater legal, economic and psychological aid will be offered along with skills training to help the victims return to normal, according to the SPP.
The SPP also vowed "zero tolerance" to offenses against children and pledged to severely punish government officials who fail to protect minors, including embezzling relief funds.
Over 3,000 people were charged in 2014 for cases involving minors. Apart from child trafficking and child labor, many cases also involved child molestation and prostitution, according to the SPP.
"The government is the ultimate guardian of minors, but many local government departments only express their 'regrets' after malicious crimes against minors happen … the new measures would put pressure on officials who fail to protect minors, which sends a clear message to the whole country to provide better protection for our children," said Yao Jianlong, a professor at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.
In 2014, more than 77,000 alleged juvenile offenders were charged in China or 4.8 percent of those charged.
Of over 56,000 alleged juvenile offenders arrested last year, theft ranked highest among crimes at 29.3 percent. Other juvenile crimes included robbery, intentional injury, inciting trouble and gang violence.
A total of 14,892 juvenile suspects were spared from arrest to better educate and protect the group.
The lack of guardianship is a major reason for juvenile crimes, as 25.6 percent of the offenders used to be left-behind children or come from broken homes, the SPP said.
The new regulation calls on authorities to provide legal education to left-behind children in rural areas, child beggars and children whose parents are in jail.