BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities on Thursday made public a guideline for handling sexual crimes against minors, vowing "severe penalties" and "minimum tolerance" in the wake of recent incidents involving children.
More severe sentences should be handed down for sexual offenses committed by teachers tasked with educating and watching after the victims, as well as those committed by government personnel, according to the guideline, jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court (SPC), the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice.
As a normative document to guide law enforcement authorities in handling such cases, "the guideline embodies the principle of 'maximum protection' for the victims and 'minimum tolerance' for the offenders," said SPC spokesman Sun Jungong at a press conference on Thursday.
For offenders given a suspended sentence, the courts could prohibit them during their probation periods from engaging in jobs or activities involving minors and entering primary and middle schools, kindergartens, or other venues where minors gather, the guideline said.
Kindergartens and schools involved in offences should assume liability in paying compensation to victims or their immediate relatives in accordance with the law, according to the document.