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[外媒编译] 【中参馆 20160204】“嫖宿幼女”与“强奸”

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发表于 2016-2-29 11:18 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
【中文标题】“嫖宿幼女”与“强奸”
【原文标题】Seeking Justice for China’s ‘Underage Prostitutes’
【登载媒体】
中参馆
【原文作者】Joanna Chiu
【原文链接】http://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/media/seeking-justice-chinas-underage-prostitutes


在政府大力压制权利活动人士之后,性犯罪的儿童受害者没有了申诉的渠道。


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营口的一名受害者,在家里裹着毯子。

4年半之前,中国北部海滨城市营口郊外的一座小村庄,一个女人在学校外拦住了一名12岁的女孩,并把她骗上车。政府媒体报道她当时说的话:“如果你不跟我走,每次见面我都要打你,你今后都没有好日子过。”这个女人和另外一个从犯用同样的手段把7名农村女孩带到一个租来的公寓中。在那里,女孩子们被脱光、殴打、锁在房间里。2011年9月份的18天里,她们被带到宾馆中,被至少4个男人轮奸,其中包括一名退休的政府官员和一位村干部。这些男人每次付给两位绑架者270美元。据官方媒体报道,这些女孩被殴打而屈从,被逼在旁观看、等待。

国有媒体新华社报道,最年轻的受害者是一个12岁的女孩,化名是杨云。她在被解救之后跪在母亲面前,低着头说:“妈妈,我被卖了。”其中5个女孩的年龄在14岁到17岁之间,另外两名受害者只有13岁。

但是当这些嫌疑人被捕之后,他们并没有以绑架或强奸的罪名被起诉,而是以“嫖宿幼女罪”被起诉,法律专家说这种罪行分类让受害者羞愧,以致沉默。目前并不知晓犯罪人最终是否受到了惩罚。根据政府统计,中国有数百起案件被贴上“嫖宿”的标签,而且这个数字明显被低估了。在活动人士的多方游说下,中国的立法机关终于废除了这项罪名,将其归入强奸罪。但是中国的法律依然存在很多的漏洞,让针对儿童的性犯罪分子有机会逃脱法律的制裁。目前对于人权律师和民权活动的严厉打击——包括2月1日强制关闭北京众泽妇女法律服务中心,它曾经是反对“嫖宿幼女”的法律援助组织——让事情变得更加糟糕。

中国不会定期公布国内被迫从事性交易的未成年人数量,但是警方表示,他们在2011年解救了超过2.4万名被绑架的妇女和儿童,其中大部分与卖淫产业链有关。儿童绑架案在2001年之后飙升。从2000年到2004年,有176起未成年性犯罪案件,240人获刑。但是仅在2009年一年,当局就逮捕了175名与未成年人性犯罪有关的嫌疑人。在这些案件中,有金钱交易的案件基本上被归类为“嫖宿幼女罪”,而不是更严重的强奸罪。(官方数据没有详细分类。)联合国反拐卖组织COMMIT的一份报告标明,中国的农村女孩和年轻女性是性犯罪和拐卖逼婚犯罪行为的主要受害者。资深女权活动人士冯媛在接受《外交政策》的采访时说:“这种丑恶的行为受到中国传统思想的影响,获取一个女孩的初夜就像获取一座奖杯。男人愿意为这样的机会付大价钱。”

多年以后,营口案件依然在困扰着中泽律师事务所的副主任吕小泉。这家机构是反对“嫖宿幼女罪”的牵头者,直到它在2月1日被迫关闭。这个面色白皙、戴眼睛的34岁男人在2012年接手受害女孩的案件,当时辽宁省公检人员已经以“嫖宿幼女罪”起诉了7名犯罪嫌疑人。该罪行的判定不需要提供性交易双方没有共同意愿的证据。法律学者段晓松在2014年的一份研究报告中,把这个罪名描述成中国刑法中最有正义的一项条款,因为这会让儿童有机会自由选择性职业。立法机构在1997年修订中国刑法时加入了这项罪名,他们的本意是更好地保护参与卖淫的幼女,因为即使她们自愿参与性交易,也因年龄过小而不应受到惩罚。但它同时代理了法律上的漏洞,比如被告可以声称不知道受害者的年龄而逃避惩罚。

吕坐在杂乱办公室的一张塑料椅子上,他从法律学院毕业之后就一直在这里工作。吕说,法律条款的措辞让营口的受害者感到羞愧,不愿与警方配合。“孩子们不是妓女,她们是受害者。”孩子们的家人没有诉诸法律途径,她们接受了嫌疑人的赔偿,条件是过往不咎。最终,6个女孩每人得到了1,575美元,一个女孩得到了3,042美元。而至少被强奸了三次的杨云得到了4,563美元。“之后,她们告诉我,她们不需要律师了。”吕摇着头说。

吕说:“即使到现在我也不知道这些嫌犯是否受到了任何惩罚。我在网上找不到任何信息,受害者的父母说他们不知道案件的进展如何。”营口案件中年龄比较大的女孩得到的赔偿比较少,或许是因为中国的法律对于未成年人还有两种分类:14岁以下,和14岁到17岁。弱化后者年龄段的犯罪严重程度是一件荒唐的事情,“嫖宿幼女罪”只适用于针对14岁以下儿童的犯罪行为。吕说,一个14岁受害者的母亲试图说服警方,她女儿的出生证明有误,在被绑架时只有13岁,但警方不予接受。媒体并没有披露检方是否以任何罪名起诉了强奸5名14岁以上营口女孩的嫌犯。

这个问题并非刚刚出现。2008年的一起案件最早引起了民众的广泛关注,并且掀起了一股填补性犯罪立法漏洞的运动。当年,中国南部城市宜宾的一位税务官员卢玉敏与一名13岁的处女发生了性行为,并支付了916美元的嫖资。他只被监禁了15天,并支付了法院判定的760美元赔偿。后来他被以“嫖宿幼女罪”起诉,他坚称不知道女孩的真实年龄。中国的互联网平台很快充满了各类相关的评论,宜宾警方说,付钱与幼女发生性行为不是犯罪,只要对方不知道幼女的具体年龄,并且双方“同意”。

民众被这件事激怒了。数千人在网络上表示抗议,很多人说这种法律漏洞是“对中国人智商的侮辱”。2009年8月,当局出人意料地转变了态度,一家地方法院以强奸罪——不是嫖宿幼女罪——判决税务官员十年有期徒刑。

在民众的支持下,吕和其它律师一起游说全国人民代表大会——中国形式上的立法机构——把所有针对儿童的性行为视为强奸。他们分别在2010年、2013年和2014年向立法委员提交了提案,但未能奏效。最终,人民代表大会在2015年8月批准了把“嫖宿幼女罪”归类为强奸的提案。前者最高可判15年监禁,在新的罪行分类中,这类犯罪有可能导致无期徒刑,甚至死刑。倡议者兴奋地庆祝这个决定,他们在接受《外交政策》的采访时说,这是一次罕见的成功事例,多年来的倡议最终促进了司法改革。2015年11月,立法机关还做出了另外一个改变,认可男性也可以成为性犯罪的受害者。

这个变化凸显了中国近年来司法改革的崎岖道路。一方面,中国的领导人表现出改变错误的法律带来负面影响的现象的愿望,并且愿意采取行动填补法律漏洞,改善执法过程。另一方面,国家似乎在拼命地打击人权律师。保护人权和草根倡议活动在中国的风险极大,自中国主席习近平在2012年上台之后,局势愈加恶化。据香港的中国维权律师关注组提供的信息,从2015年夏天开始,全国有超过300名人权律师和活动人士被捕,或者被警方传唤,甚至失联。甚至长期以来积极主张废除“嫖宿幼女罪”中泽律师事务所,在2016年2月被强行关闭,它似乎是政府打压民权社会运动中的一个目标。

一些积极倡导女性权利的活动人士本来以为,他们的工作与反对强制拆迁和倡导宗教自由的工作相比,政治敏感度没有那么高。但是2015年3月之后他们改变了这种想法。5名中国女权活动人士被捕,被关押了一个月。据说他们计划发放一些传单,上面有反对性骚扰、呼吁政府逮捕性骚扰嫌疑犯等口号。

法律专家在接受《外交政策》采访时说,但是目前的法律修订程度依然不够。中国是世界上同意年龄(译者注:在此年龄对发生性行为做出的同意,在法律上有效)最低的国家之一——14岁。资深刑法律师陈有西说,“经常出现”有人强奸13岁儿童所得到的惩罚高于强奸14岁的儿童。活动人士也认为这样的界限无法接受,并指出中国是联合国儿童权利公约组织成员,应该接受其18岁以下为儿童的定义。纽约大学法学院美亚法律研究所的副主任教授杰瑞米•克汉说:“儿童不可能根据自身意愿表达‘同意’,因此必须要考虑儿童的界限是否应该是14岁。”人权守望组织的中国研究员王玛雅也指出,强奸罪的最低判决是三年,而原“嫖宿幼女罪”的最低判决是五年。

尽管在法律层面上有所收紧,但中国警方往往缺少培训和提供帮助的能力。湄公河俱乐部的CEO和国际人口拐卖专家马特•弗里德曼说:“警方与性从业者频繁打交道,但他们大多是男性,不愿意多花时间与女人交谈,听她们讲述自己的故事。”他的组织专门帮助企业识别农奴工的现象。弗里德曼还说,有很多降低性犯罪的方法,比如提高性犯罪的最低和最高惩罚力度,在学校设置相关的防范课程,给警方提供识别和帮助被迫卖淫受害者的培训。香港非政府组织大赦国际的东亚总监尼古拉斯•贝克林说:“法律框架上小小的改进仅仅是一个起点,而不是最终结果。”

中国还会继续镇压活动人士和人权律师,我们似乎看不到任何进一步遏制针对儿童的性犯罪的动力。中国在2016年将会通过一项针对外国非政府组织的法律,禁止大部分国内组织获取外国资金援助。像中泽这样的机构资金将会枯竭,或许被迫关门。与此同时,犯罪分子诱骗儿童受害者的手段层出不穷。上个月在中国东南部省份福建的福清市,一个男人假扮成学校校长强奸了几名幼童,仅被判处9年徒刑。当被问到他是否还会继续接手类似的案件时,吕挤出一个勉强的笑容说他还不知道:“我们正在思考现在可以做点什么。”




原文:

After a Government Crackdown on Rights Activists, Child Victims of Sex Crimes Have Fewer Advocates

One of the Yingkou victims, hiding under a blanket in her home.

Four and a half years ago in a small village on the outskirts of the coastal city of Yingkou in northern China, a woman stopped a 12-year-old girl outside the child’s school and lured her into a car. “If you don’t come with me, I will beat you every time I see you. You will not have any more good days in your life,” state media reported her saying. The woman and an accomplice allegedly used similar threats to bring seven other rural schoolgirls to a rented apartment. There, the girls were stripped, beaten, and kept in one locked room. Over 18 days in September 2011, they were taken to hotels and raped repeatedly by at least four men, including a retired local government official and a village head. The men reportedly paid the two kidnappers up to $270 each visit. The girls were beaten into submission and forced to watch and wait their turn, according to official media.

State news agency Xinhua said that the youngest victim, a 12-year-old referred to in reports under the alias Yang Yun, knelt in front of her mother after police brought her home, bowed her head, and said: “Mom, I was sold.” Five of the girls were between 14 and 17 years old; two other victims were just 13.

But after the suspects’ arrest, they were not charged with kidnapping or rape, but instead with “engaging in sex with underage prostitutes,” a criminal classification that legal experts claimed had shamed the victims into silence. It is unclear whether the perpetrators were ever punished. Hundreds labeled as “prostitutes” in China have been exploited in similar ways, according to government statistics, although cases are likely underreported. Following years of lobbying from activists, Chinese lawmakers have finally struck out the controversial crime and reclassified it as rape. But China’s laws are still riddled with loopholes that allow perpetrators of sex crimes against children to escape justice. And the ongoing crackdown on human rights lawyers and civil society—including the February 1 shuttering of Beijing Zhongze Women’s Legal Counseling and Service Center, the legal aid organization responsible for the campaign against the “underage prostitutes” classification—is only making things worse.

China doesn’t regularly provide estimates of the number of children forced into sex work in the country, but police said they rescued more than 24,000 abducted women and children in 2011, many of whom were bound for prostitution rings. Child trafficking cases have been growing since 2001. There were 176 cases of underage sex crimes between the years 2000 and 2004 with 240 people sentenced, but in 2009 alone, authorities arrested 175 people in relation to underage sex crimes. Among these cases, those that involved an exchange of money were usually classified as “engaging in prostitution with an underage girl” rather than the more serious crime of rape. (No official breakdown of the cases is available.) A report from the U.N.-backed counter-trafficking group COMMIT found that rural girls and young women in China are especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation for profit or sale into marriage by traffickers. In an interview with Foreign Policy, veteran women’s rights activist Feng Yuan said it’s an “ugly problem fueled by the traditional belief that taking a girls’ virginity is like getting a trophy.” As Feng noted, “Men are willing to pay large sums for the opportunity.”

Years later, the Yingkou case still troubles human rights lawyer Lü Xiaoquan, who was deputy director of Zhongze, the organization which led the push against the “underage prostitutes” designation, until its apparent forced closure on February 1. When the pale, bespectacled 34-year-old took over representation for the girls in 2012, prosecutors in Liaoning province had already charged seven suspects with the crime of “engaging in prostitution with an underage girl.” The offense did not require a finding that the sex was nonconsensual. Legal scholar Duan Xiaosong described that crime in her 2014 study as one of the most controversial offenses in Chinese criminal law, since it suggests children could have the ability to freely choose sex work. When lawmakers rewrote key sections of China’s Criminal Law to introduce that offense in 1997, they originally intended to give better protections to underage girls involved in prostitution, thinking that they were too young to be punished even if they had agreed to sex work. Instead, the measure created legal loopholes—like allowing a defendant to dodge culpability by claiming no knowledge of the victim’s underage status—that have helped offenders avoid harsh penalties, according to Duan.

Sitting in a plastic chair in the cluttered office where he had worked since graduating from law school, Lü said the law’s wording made the Yingkou victims too ashamed to cooperate with police. “The girls were not prostitutes; they were child victims,” Lü said. But instead of seeking retribution, the girls’ families accepted compensation from the suspects to stay quiet. In the end, six of the girls received $1,575 each, one girl got $3,042, and Yang Yun, who was reportedly raped at least three times, was compensated $4,563. “After that they said they told me they didn’t need a lawyer anymore,” Lü said, with a shake of his head.

“Even now I don’t know if the people who exploited them were punished for any crimes. I cannot find information online, and the victims’ parents tell me they don’t know the results of the case either,” Lü said. The older girls in the Yingkou case received less compensation from their attackers, probably because some laws in China have two categories for minors: those under the age of 14, and those aged 14 to 17. It’s a legal oddity that downplays the severity of offenses against girls in that middle range—the crime of “engaging in prostitution with an underage girl” only applied to offenses involving girls under the age of 14. Lü said a mother of a 14-year-old victim tried, unsuccessfully, to convince police that her daughter’s birth certificate was wrong and the girl was in fact 13 years old at the time of the kidnapping. It is unclear from media reports whether prosecutors filed any charges in relation to the rapes of five Yingkou girls aged 14 or older.

The problem is long running. A case from 2008 had first raised wider public awareness and sparked a campaign to fix loopholes in sexual assault legislation. That year, Lu Yumin, a tax official in the southern city of Yibin, paid $912 to have sex with a 13-year-old virgin but initially escaped with only 15 days’ detention and a $760 court-ordered fine. After he was arrested and charged with “engaging in prostitution with an underage girl,” the man insisted that he had not known her true age. Soon Chinese news websites were awash in information about the case. Yibin police reportedly said that paying to have sex with an underage girl was not a crime as long as the offender is unaware of the child’s age and if the sex was “consensual.”

The case enraged the public. Thousands of people discussed the case online, with many saying that the apparent loophole was “an insult to the intelligence of all Chinese people.” In August 2009, authorities surprisingly reversed course and a local district court sentenced the tax official to 10 years in prison for the crime of rape—not for sex with an underage prostitute.

Buoyed by public support, Lü and other lawyers lobbied the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s pro forma legislature, to treat all sex with children as rape. They delivered proposals to lawmakers in 2010, 2013, and 2014, but these efforts failed to amend the law. Finally, in August 2015, the NPC approved the proposal to reclassify the crime of “sex with underage prostitutes” into rape. The previous maximum penalty for the crime was 15 years behind bars. With the new classification, the crime could mean life in prison, or in some cases, death. Advocates celebrated the decision, telling Foreign Policy that it is a rare example of how years of advocacy can lead to legal reform. In November 2015, lawmakers also implemented another change to the criminal law to recognize male victims of sexual assault.

This issue highlights the uneven legal reforms China has made in recent years. On the one hand, China’s leaders have shown a willingness to recognize that bad lawmaking has led to serious unintended consequences, and to make subsequent moves to fix loopholes and improve practices. On the other hand, the state appears to be working in overdrive to strike fear into human rights lawyers. Rights protections and grassroots advocacy have long carried serious risks in China, but since Chinese President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the situation has deteriorated even further. Since summer 2015, over 300 human rights lawyers and activists from across China have been detained, summoned by police, or have disappeared, according to the Hong Kong-based China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group. Even Zhongze, which stood at the forefront of the campaign to banish the concept of the “underage prostitute,” was shuttered on February 2016, likely a target of the government’s ongoing clampdown on civil society.

Some advocates who lobbied on women’s rights issues formerly believed their work was less politically sensitive than causes like forced demolitions or religious freedom. But this changed in March 2015 when five Chinese feminists were arrested and jailed for over a month. The women were reportedly planning to distribute stickers featuring slogans against sexual assault, including a call for police to arrest sexual-harassment suspects.

But the recent legal amendments still do not go far enough, said legal experts who spoke to Foreign Policy. China has one of the lowest ages of consent in the world, at 14 years old. It is “usually the case” that someone who raped a 13-year-old will receive a harsher sentence than someone who raped a 14-year-old, said veteran criminal lawyer Chen Youxi. Activists find this distinction unacceptable, and point out that China is party to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which defines a child as anyone under the age of 18. “Young people really cannot freely ‘consent,’” said Jerome Cohen, professor and co-director of the US-Asia Law Institute at New York University School of Law. “One question to consider is whether the age should be higher than under 14.” Maya Wang, China researcher at Human Rights Watch, also noted that rape carries a more lenient minimum sentence of three years, compared to the minimum five-year sentence for the defunct crime of “engaging in prostitution with an underage girl.”

Even with tougher laws on the side of victims, Chinese police often lack the training and ability to help. “Police come into contact with many sex workers but often they are male officers, and they are not taking the time to talk to women and listen to their stories,” said Matt Friedman, an international human trafficking expert and CEO of the Mekong Club, which educates companies on how to identify signs of forced labor. Friedman said there are many other ways to reduce sexual violence, such as raising the minimum and maximum sentences for sexual offenses, setting up prevention systems in schools, and training police to better identify and assist victims of forced prostitution. “The mere improvement of the legislative framework should be seen as the starting point rather than the outcome,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director for the U.K.-based NGO Amnesty International.

As China’s clampdown on activists and human rights lawyers continues, there seems to be little momentum going forward to stop sex crimes against children. China is expected to pass a foreign NGO management law in 2016 that could block most local groups from receiving foreign funding, and more local organizations like Zhongze may see their sources of funding dry up or be forced to shut down as a result. Meanwhile, criminals are finding new ways to lure young victims. Last month in Fuqing, a city in the southeastern province of Fujian, a man who posed as a school principal and raped several underage girls was sentenced to only nine years in jail. When asked whether he would find ways to continue working in the future on cases like these, Lü said with what sounded like a forced laugh that he could not comment. “We are thinking about what we can do now,” he said.


发表于 2016-2-29 16:04 | 显示全部楼层
弱智、愚蠢、无能的一类人。
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发表于 2017-1-5 00:15 | 显示全部楼层
无耻阶级。
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头像被屏蔽
发表于 2017-1-20 15:41 | 显示全部楼层
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头像被屏蔽
发表于 2017-1-20 15:47 | 显示全部楼层
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一定级别以上的犯罪算嫖宿,之下的屁民算强奸。
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