New Law Threatens to Punish Children for Not Visiting Their Parents

New Law Threatens to Punish Children for Not Visiting Their Parents

Does you senior parent often complain that you don’t visit them enough?  Well, you’re alone. A survey has revealed that baby boomers are often too busy to visit their parents. More than 1 in 10 people over the age of 55 admit to not having seen their parents in over a year.   A new law in China intends to resolve this issue.

The controversial new law threatens to punish adult children who do not regularly visit their elderly parents. It requires family members to “often” visit relatives over 60 years old, in addition to caring for their “psychological needs”. It does not specify how often visits must take place and does not say what punishment will be given to those who break the law. The first ruling under this law ordered a woman and her husband to visit her 77-year-old mother at least once every two months and on holidays, or face possible fines and detention.

The new law comes amid increasing reports of elderly parents being neglected or mistreated by their children in China. In recent decades, China’s rapid development has challenged its typically close traditional extended family unit.  The problem has only grown worse as China’s population continues to rapidly age. The United Nations says 30 percent of Chinese will be over 60 years old by 2050 – a rate much higher than the worldwide average of 20 percent. But many Chinese have criticized the legislation, saying it will be hard to enforce and is unreasonable for many who have moved away from their homes looking for work.  For more on this story, New Chinese Law: Visit Your Parents.

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