A latest research achievement shows that Chinese adults had legal responsibility to protect the rights of children as early as 1,200 years ago.
Chen Yongsheng, deputy head of the politics teaching and research group affiliated to the Party School of the Gansu Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, drew the conclusion based on his research on a paper document of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
The document records the trial of Kang Shifen, a native of Gaochang county (now Turpan city of Xinjiang), for injuring two children. The document was unearthed in the Turpan Basin in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China, in the early 20th century.
It shows that two eight-year-old kids, Jin Er and Xiang Zi, were hit by a fast carriage when sitting in front of the door of a shop on a June day of the year 762. They suffered fractured hips.
To protect the legitimate rights of the children, their fathers lodged a lawsuit against Kang Shifen, the driver of the carriage.
The magistrate of Gaochang county sent a team of officials to investigate the case and ruled that Kang was responsible for the accident and ordered him to pay for the medical treatment of the two kids.
The case was a typical civil case involving infringement of the legitimate rights of minors, and showed that legal rights involving children had been exercised in ancient China, said Chen Yongsheng, who has devoted himself to studying documents on ancient legal systems.
Based on his research, Chen said that legal responsibility of minors had been a common practice in ancient China.