Home World The premeditated crime and drama of “Liushu” children left behind by their migrant parents – Corriere.it

The premeditated crime and drama of “Liushu” children left behind by their migrant parents – Corriere.it

The premeditated crime and drama of “Liushu” children left behind by their migrant parents – Corriere.it

A heinous crime hits social media and Chinese newspapers: A middle school student was murdered by three thirteen-year-old peers in a suburban district. A story that began with bullying and blackmail and ended in murder: the day before their partner was beaten to death, the teenage killers dug a grave in the fields, in an abandoned greenhouse; They mutilated his face in an attempt to make him unrecognizable. The police identified them and arrested them.

This case opened controversy in China, because it turned out that the victim and the perpetrators were the same “liúshou értóng”, the Chinese children “left behind” In rural villages where parents went to work in distant cities. They are the social orphans left behind by China's extraordinary industrial development, which has prompted nearly 300 million farmers to migrate from the countryside to big cities. To find work on assembly lines and construction sites. According to official data, there are at least 67 million “liushu” in Chinese provinces: they are entrusted to elderly grandparents or other relatives who are rarely around. School alone, when minors go there, cannot educate them. Over the years, sociologists and psychologists have discovered countless cases of disorder, depression and violence among minors left alone to pay the cost of China's industrial boom.

Then there is another reason that sparked the interest of the Chinese press in the crime committed on March 10 in Jiudian Village on the outskirts of Haidan City in Hebei Province: How should justice be served against three child killers? In 2021, Beijing's penal code lowered the age of responsibility for “extremely cruel” crimes from 14 to 12 years. The bullies who killed his schoolmate Wang Xiao had persecuted him for months, systematically forcing him to hand over the little amount of money he had in his pocket; They then decided to eliminate him, perhaps for fear of being reported, and tried to make the body unidentifiable, using a technique worthy of criminal experts. The three confessed. Since they are both 13 years old, it is up to the Supreme People's Procuratorate to decide whether to put them on trial or not. In a post on social media, the victim’s father demanded the harshest punishment: “For the way they mutilated him after the assassination, they deserve to pay with their lives. “I hope this is a fair decision.”

The discovery of the body was followed by state television cameras. Pictures of the detained thirteen-year-old children have gone viral: they have been viewed by tens of millions of Chinese on the Internet. Many comments addressed the topic of loneliness and abandonment of “abandoned children.”“China, committed to economic growth, has forgotten that the first obligation is to raise children, especially in the countryside where millions of migrant workers have left, and minors do not receive adequate attention. Events like this crime could happen again,” one citizen wrote on Weibo.


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