Chinese media digest - Tuesday, November 20
Globaltimes.cn | 2012-11-20 18:02:00
Media thrashes child rescue services for five dead in Guizhou
Five boys were found dead from carbon dioxide poisoning on Friday morning in a dumpster in Bijie, Guizhou Province, according to a statement released by local authorities on November 18.
Ashes were also found in the dumpster, which according to the statement were from a fire the boys had lit to keep warm the previous evening.
The children, all around 10 years old and identified as cousins surnamed Tao, were missing from their homes since November 5, chinanews.com
Chinese media outlets were quick to blame the Bijie municipal government for gross negligence and called for improvements in municipal rescue services to better assist children living on the street.
"The dumpster was only about 100 meters away from a neighborhood committee office. Why didn't the chengguan or office employees find the boys in time? Why weren't these five boys taken care of by the local government's so-called capable rescue system?" commentator Shen Lin wrote on Oriental Morning Post.
"Local governments should provide clothes and shelter to the homeless, and help kids get back home before it's too late," Shen added.
Columnist Yang Gengshen chastised the local government in a Beijing News opinion piece for failing to protect its children.
"These boys are citizens of Bijie, and the local government has a responsibility to protect its citizens," said Yang. "I don't know whether these neighborhood committee workers have merely become used to seeing street kids in their jurisdiction, or they just felt the safety of these kids was no concern of theirs."
Changjiang Daily contributor Li Jianhua not only calls out the city government, but also residents for turning a blind eye.
"People are often coldhearted towards street kids. They distrust the effectiveness of rescue missions and have little experience in making sure such kids get the help they need," Li said.
In an opinion piece of the Global Times (Chinese edition), researcher Yu Jianrong advised that governments should enforce laws that require rescue services to actively seek out children in distress.
"In contrast to China's system, which leaves it to the individual to reach out for help, rescue services in Western societies take the initiative on the principle that children are not mature enough to make such life choices, let alone take care of themselves." said Yu.
"Only rescue services can protect them. Such assistance for children is a sign of a developed and conscientious society," Yu added.