'Little Emperors' Run Riot in China

Single-child pressures & tech revolution blamed in crime surge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2007 5:12 AM CST
Juvenile inmates attend a talk by a researcher on psychological health from the Heilongjiang Youth and Children Institute at the Jilin Juvenile Reformatory in Changchun, northeastern China's Jilin province,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – China is seeing an explosion in youth crime, and the effects of the one-child policy  and sweeping social and technological change are thought to be partly to blame, reports Reuters. Juvenile delinquency has doubled in the last decade, with offenders getting bolder and more innovative. "They are committing new types of crime and forming larger gangs. They even commit crimes without specific motives," an expert said.

Crimes include a jump in internet fraud, and young people are increasingly turning to "unhealthy" web sites, say officials. A Beijing judge noted that while today's generation of only children may be called "little emperors," they have to deal alone with the pressures of families often broken apart by work demands in a time of overwhelming social transformation.