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New Law Requires Adult Children to 'Visit Home Often'

Popularity 3Viewed 5937 times 2013-7-1 16:33 |System category:News| Children

http://www.womenofchina.cn/html/womenofchina/report/153743-1.htm

 

The newly revised Law of the People's Republic of China on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly stipulates that family members should be concerned about the spiritual needs of the elderly and should not ignore or neglect them, and those who live apart from them should visit often. [wnxwzx.com]

The newly revised Law of the People's Republic of China on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly stipulates that family members should be concerned about the spiritual needs of the elderly and should not ignore or neglect them, and those who live apart from them should visit often. [wnxwzx.com]


Recently, an elderly couple in China sued their three adult children in court for not visiting them enough. They were hoping that the judge would issue an order for the children to visit them every weekend.

While in the past, their appeal might be rejected by the court for not having any clear legal basis, a new law in China has come into effect providing them with legal support.

The newly revised Law of the People's Republic of China on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly stipulates that family members should be concerned about the spiritual needs of the elderly and should not ignore or neglect them, and those who live apart from them should visit often.

The revised articles, which came into effect on July 1, 2013, are a response to China's aging population. While adding content on social security and services, they also stress the fundamental role of family support towards the aged.

The revised law is not without controversy, as many opponents have questioned the mechanics involved in ensuring the law is carried out and whether or not filial piety should be a legal issue.
One elderly man named Lin Yuan said, "How often is often? If it is once a week, then most adult children who work in cities apart from their parents will find it impossible to fulfill the requirements of the law."

Lin's son works in a city far away from him and his wife and is unable to visit them often. However, he and his wife fully understand their son's situation. "He calls us at least once a week. That's enough," Lin added.

"I don't think there are many parents who would sue their children for not visiting them often," said another retiree, Gu Jun. "The law means well, but it's hard to put into practice."

Indeed, many others have pointed out that law enforcers will have trouble obtaining evidence of the law having been broken and meting out suitable punishment.

Liu Gaihua, a judge from the Superior Court of central China's Henan Province, explained that the new law also includes provisions ensuring employees' rights to time off to visit their family. "There will be criticism and education from relevant departments if people violate the law. The court can also take measurement of penalty if the children still do not visit their parents even after the court orders them to."

Another lawyer named Xie Liang has said that the revised law is vague and that filial piety is a matter of morality and not the law.

Read More: 

Should Visiting Parents be a Legal Issue?

There is an old song in China that exhorts Chinese people to 'go home often', a term that refers to visiting one's parents after one has moved out of the childhood home. The song, first performed in the 1999 Spring Festival Gala, tells people to go back home often, even if 'the only thing you can help with is the washing'. 

Legislating Parental Home Visits

Editor's Note The recently held 27th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress deliberated on the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (Draft Amendment), which provides on Article 17 that supporters living apart with their supported elderly should pay frequent visits to their elderly. 

Online Cartoons Inspire Filial Piety

A comic series about parental love has set off discussions and comments online on filial piety. The series was created by Feng Jiao, an animation major from the Art College of Sichuan University in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

(Source: news.youth.cn/Translated and edited by womenofchina.cn)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report robert237 2013-7-3 12:06
Many people will argue that you can't legislate such behavior.. but then again, can you successfully legislate any behavior?
There have been laws on the books in most nations against drug use and public drunkenness. Has this been successful in
eliminating either? Of course not. In most cases it is the ideal the laws are trying to steer the public toward.
I doubt the punishment for disobeying this law will any more severe than for the most trivial infractions. You can bet there
will be a few rare exceptions where this law will create more animosity than fidelity in a family relationship but if perfection
is what you are after you've come to the wrong planet. In my opinion this law as some merit. If nothing else it reminds
people of how important it is for the elderly to feel they still have some place here in this world.
Reply Report Newtown 2013-7-3 22:00
There are laws on the books in China to legislate against couples having more than one child. Is this "the ideal (that) the laws are trying to steer the public toward" ?
Reply Report robert237 2013-7-4 14:03
Absolutely yes to population control. The world has nearly 7 billion people. Far more than it can easily sustain.
If only the world had other nations as proactive as China in dealing with real problems.
Reply Report Newtown 2013-7-4 15:00
robert237: Absolutely yes to population control. The world has nearly 7 billion people. Far more than it can easily sustain.
If only the world had other nations  ...
Do you think China and all other nations should copy Vatican City which has virtually zero population growth ? Wouldn't this policy achieve a sustainable population strategy ?

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