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Shenzhen facility for abandoned babies has skeptics

[ 2013-11-29 10:38] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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News that Shenzhen will open its first "safe haven" for abandoned children early next year has raised public concern that the move will encourage parents to abandon their babies.

Shenzhen will be the first city in Guangdong province to have such a program. Guangzhou will have its own program by the end of January.

Tang Rongsheng, director of the Shenzhen Welfare Center, said the facility's purpose will be to keep babies safe. Although the shelter cannot prevent parents from abandoning their children, the outcome will be different as the youngsters will receive protection.

The facility in Shenzhen, which will cost at least 150,000 yuan ($24,600), will be next to the welfare center's security booth. No surveillance camera will be installed around the safe haven to protect the parents' privacy.

Workers at the welfare home will be required to move babies from the safe haven to the welfare home as soon as possible.

Tang added that the number of abandoned children in Shenzhen in 2009 was 200, and the figure is about 90 so far this year.

The 10-square-meter safe haven will have an incubator, a crib, bedding, an alarm, a ventilation fan, an air conditioner and an infrared intrusion detector.

The first baby safe haven in China was launched in June 2011 in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. The facility has taken in about 170 children, according to China National Radio.

In May, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, along with six other departments, issued a notice on tighter management of baby abandonment.

The Shenzhen program is not without its critics, with some saying that people from surrounding areas will bring their unwanted babies to the city.

Shenzhen resident Lin Xin, 48, said that there will be more cases of child abandonment after the program because people will think that the local government now will take care of their problems.

Similar concerns about a possible increase in the number of abandoned babies have emerged in Jiangsu province, which will open its first safe haven in Nanjing by the end of this year.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Shenzhen facility for abandoned babies has skeptics

About the broadcaster:

Shenzhen facility for abandoned babies has skeptics

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.