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Let law clarify rewards for young rescuers

China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-23 08:00

ON MARCH 15, Jiangsu Provincial High People's Court reportedly accepted a lawsuit filed by 62-year-old Jiang Zhigen against the local government of his hometown in the province, because it declined to bestow on his son the honor of good Samaritan after he died trying to save someone from drowning. Beijing Youth Daily comments:

The local government of Jyurong has a reasonable explanation for not bestowing the honary title as Jiang's son was only 12 years old when he died. It says if they gave the boy the honorary title it might encourage other youngsters to risk their lives trying to save people.

However, that justification becomes less valid, when one takes into account the fact that the local government not only refused to bestow the honorary title, it also delayed paying the compensatory pension to which Jiang's family was entitled until 2011, 11 years after Jiang first requested it. The compensation has nothing to do with discouraging youngsters from taking risky action. So why did they delay that?

Besides, even young people are taught to act rationally nowadays. It is unreasonable to believe youngsters will risk their lives for an honorary title. Even if the local officials do worry that might be the case, they could act positively by teaching children not to put their lives at risk.

Now Jiangsu Provincial High People's Court has accepted the case, and the ruling it makes should end the debate on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Security recently solicited public opinions on a draft regulation to reward good Samaritans, but the draft does not include any details on underage persons. We hope the ministry will include details on rewarding minors in its draft regulation, so that local governments are clear about their responsibilities in similar cases in the future.

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