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China: Treatment of minor illegal emigrants repatriated to Fujian province; legal provisions for sanctions; actual practice (1998-1999)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 8 November 1999
Citation / Document Symbol CHN33177.E
Reference 5
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, China: Treatment of minor illegal emigrants repatriated to Fujian province; legal provisions for sanctions; actual practice (1998-1999), 8 November 1999, CHN33177.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad5148.html [accessed 24 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

No specific information on the treatment of minor illegal emigrants repatriated to Fujian province could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. For information regarding the treatment of illegal emigrants repatriated to Fujian province generally, please consult CHN32869.E of 22 September 1999 available in IRB Regional Documentation Centres, REFINFO and on the IRB Website at . However, the following general information regarding the treatment of minors in Chinese criminal and administrative law is provided for background purposes.

Article 17 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China (1997) states:

A person who has reached the age of eighteen who commits a crime shall bear criminal responsibility.

A person who has reached the age of fourteen but not the age of eighteen who commits the crimes of intentionally killing another or intentionally injuring another, even causing serious injury or death, and the crimes of rape, robbery, drug trafficking, arson, explosion, and poisoning shall bear criminal responsibility.

A person who has reached the age of fourteen but not the age of eighteen who commits a crime shall be given a lesser punishment or a mitigated punishment.

When a person is not criminally punished because he has not reached the age of eighteen, the head of his family or guardian is to be ordered to subject him to discipline. When necessary, he may also be given shelter and rehabilitation by the government.

Article 25 of the Administrative Punishment Law of the People's Republic of China (1996) states that, with respect to administrative sanctions:

Persons under 14 years of age are not to be given administrative punishments for their unlawful acts; instead, their custodians are to be ordered to discipline them. Persons over 14 but under 18 years of age are to be given lenient or reduced administrative punishments for their unlawful acts.

However, according to a report in China Rights Forum the provisions for minors in China's criminal law and procedure are inadequate and infrequently applied (Spring 1996). The report states that:

Under Reeducation Through Labor, juveniles aged 16 to 18 years may be held for up to four years together with adults for "crimes" not subject to prosecution. China's Reeducation Through Labor system has been judged by the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to be "inherently arbitrary." Other forms of detention in which juveniles are held with adults are: Custody and Education, under which juveniles aged 14 to 18 arrested for prostitution may be detained; detentions of up to 15 days under the Security Administration Punishment Act for minor public order offenses; and forced drug treatment. Other known forms of detention for juveniles include: Custody and Reeducation, a measure for the long-term detention of juveniles aged 14 to 16 for minor offenses, when their guardians are unable to control them; and Reform Schools in which children under the age of 14 may be held. Juveniles convicted of crimes and those held under some of the above forms of administrative detention may be confined together in Juvenile Correctional Facilities, a violation of the U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty.

There are no specific references to minors in the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Exit and Entry of Citizens (1986) or in the Criminal Law provisions regarding illegal exit.

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an associate professor at the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University-Newark, and author of numerous publications regarding illegal emigration from Fujian, indicated that he did not believe that repatriated adults and minors were treated differently (3 Nov. 1999).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, New Jersey. 3 November 1999. Correspondence.

China. Administrative Punishment Law of the People's Republic of China. 17 March 1996. Translated by Charles D. Paglee, Chinalaw Web. [Accessed 14 Sept. 1999]

China. Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China. 1 October 1997. Translated by Charles D. Paglee, Chinalaw Web. [Accessed 5 Nov. 1999]

China Rights Forum. Spring 1996. "'Protections' Fail To Protect." [Accessed 5 Nov. 1999]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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