Crimes committed by and against minors are both on the rise.
On 28 Oct. 2022, Zhang Jun (张军), the Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), made a report to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, entitled the “Report on the Work of People’s Procuratorates in Prosecution of Minors” (hereinafter the “Report”, 关于人民检察院开展未成年人检察工作情况的报告).
According to the Report, from 2018 to 2021, procuratorates had prosecuted 249,000 minor criminal suspects after accepting and examining relevant cases, an annual increase of 8.3%; from January to September 2022, the figure was 56,000, up 6.4% year-on-year.
There was an increasing number of underage suspects at younger ages. For example, the number of minor criminal suspects under the age of 16 who were prosecuted rose from 3,534 in 2018 to 5,334 in 2021.
From 2018 to September this year, among the crimes committed by minor criminal suspects in cases by procuratorates accepted for examination and prosecution, the top six were theft, affray, provocative and disturbing acts, robbery, rape, and intentional infliction of bodily harm. The proportion of minor criminal suspects involved in these six types of crimes was 76.5%.
Crimes against minors also continue to rise.
From 2018 to 2021, procuratorates prosecuted 232,000 defendants for assaulting minors, an average annual increase of 6.1%.
Sexual assault has become the most prominent crime against minors. From 2019 to 2021, the number of underage victims of crime rose from 46,000 to 52,000, an average annual increase of 6.3%; among them, underage victims under 14 accounted for 56.5%.
Between 2018 and September 2022, 15.8% of crimes of sexual assault against minors were “remote molestation”, using the internet, and offline assaults after online contacts.
Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team