In an attempt to crack down on China’s infamously brutal internet addiction boot camps, Beijing is in the process of drafting a piece of legislation that will ban camps which attempt to “cure” teens’ web addictions via beatings, electroshock therapy and drugs.
China has over 700 million internet users, about a quarter of which are under 19 years of age. Some of these kids have become a bit too internet-obsessed for their parents’ liking, causing them to be sent to internet addiction treatment centers which often style themselves as boot camps where web-addicted kids are forced to abandon their love for the internet via rigorous exercise and military-style drilling — or if that fails, then by simply beating it out of them.
Back in 2009, one 15-year-old boy died at an internet addiction rehabilitation clinic in Guangxi, after allegedly being beaten by his counselors.
In the past, attendees have also alleged that centers often employ violence, electro shocks and drugs in trying to change their behavior. In 2009, China’s Ministry of Health formally banned the use of electroshock therapy; however, many of these institutions fall into a murky grey area for governmental oversight.
Another horrifying incident occurred last September with one daughter tying her mother to a chair and slowly starving her to death as punishment for sending her to one of these boot camps where the 16-year-old girl claims she was subject to regular beatings and abuse before escaping back home.
Still, this kind of bad press doesn’t seem to have stopped parents from sending their precious children away to these brutal rehab centers. There are hundreds of boot camps around the country, and business is booming.
So, this draft regulation regarding the protection of minors which was released by the State Council for public consultation last week seems a bit overdue. It bans rehab centers from using abuse or threats during their treatment of minors, SCMP reports.
Better late than never?
[Images via Web Junkie]
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