February 07, 2010

Babysitter Uses Her Charge as a Prop in Street Begging

Translation: February 2, 2010 QLWB Link, via Xinhua Ürümqi

By January 28, 2010 and after going through four agencies, Deng Jian (邓健) still could not find a suitable caretaker for his 1 year old son. A harrowing experience several months ago with an unscrupulous babysitter left him with serious misgivings about handing his child over to another stranger.

Deng Jian's son Momo was born June 2008. In September 2009, Deng hired Xiao Guo (小郭) to babysit Momo full-time. Xiao Guo seemed a nice person. Deng paid her a monthly salary of 1,500 yuan, because he doesn't mind spending more money as long as Momo is well cared for.

One day in October, Deng Jian received a phone call at his work place. The call came from a neighbor: "Your babysitter is taking Momo to beg by the overpass. You really should go take a look."

When Deng arrived at the location mentioned by his neighbor, a pedestrian overpass near his home, he was almost shocked senseless by what he saw. In Xiao Guo's arms was his one year old son, face smirched and wearing tattered clothing. Pitying the woman and her young son, many people gave Xiao Guo money.

Under harsh questioning by Momo's parents, the babysitter finally admitted this behavior has been going on for more than a week. As soon as the Deng couple went to work, she would dress Momo up for begging. Then prior to Deng's return, she would take the child home, wash him clean, and pretend nothing had happened.

Zeng Wanmin (曾万民) from Xinjiang Xin Jin Yuan Law firm commented on this bizarre case during an interview: Nursery personnel who, without parental consent, take babies out to public places to beg are violating the children's right to health; this unacceptable behavior also seriously undermines the babies' image, dignity and reputation.

28-year-old mom Want Ting (王婷) mentioned several other horror stories that friends with kids told her: some babysitters drug their charges with sleeping pills to reduce workload; some babysitters eat nutritious food intended for the children and, as replacement, make them eat congee; there are even those who pacify babies by sticking toes into the babies' mouths.

Lawyer Zeng Wanming has seen similar cases in the past, but after inquiring about their rights and the law, parents always decided not to press charges. For example, the Deng family ultimately took no action. In addition to the unwanted exposure a lawsuit brings, they also feared retaliation from Xiao Guo, who knows their address, phone number and what Momo looks like.

Zeng says these incidents reflect a lack of regulation and oversight in the babysitting industry.

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading this story. Deng Jian's salary for the babysitter is high enough. I could not find any idea why the caretaker still bring the child in the street and beg. He may have a mental problem. Momo was so unfortunate for having a "yaya" like Xiao Guo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The using children in begging can get much worse than this. In India, children are mutilated to provoke more sympathy from potential begging targets.

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