Chinese boot camps found to be using brutal means such as beatings, electroshock therapy, and drugs to “cure” internet addiction may be shut down after the government passes a new legislation banning such practice.
Boot camps dedicated to combating web addiction among teens have recently become infamous for being quite brutal.
In an attempt to put an end to the inhumane practice, a new law is being drafted in Beijing that will ban camps from employing questionable methods.
The recently drafted regulation, which aims to protect minors from abusive centers, was released by the State Council for public consultation last week, according to South China Morning Post (via Shanghaiist).
In China, around 25% of its over 700 million web users are teenagers, with some of them having developed internet addiction at a very young age.
To curb their obsession to be online all the time, parents would send them to boot camp-styled internet addiction treatment centers.
In such facilities, the web-addicted teens are forced to engage themselves in rigorous exercises and military drills. If such methods still fail to bring about change, the kids are allegedly beaten up. Such a case in 2009 left a 15-year-old boy dead, allegedly, at the hands of his counselors at a rehabilitation clinic in Guangxi.
Past attendees have alleged that violence, electro shocks, and drugs were being used to force them to alter their behavior.
The country’s Ministry of Health has in fact banned the use of electroshock therapy back in 2009. Unfortunately, there are some facilities which have been able to get away with continuing with the practice.
In September last year, a 16-year-old girl made international headlines after she reportedly tied her mother to a chair and starved her to death to get back at her for sending her to a brutal boot camp. She later said she was regularly beaten and abused before she was able to escape.
For some reason, however, such news stories have not kept parents from patronizing such establishments, despite their reputation for brutality. In fact, the industry is currently booming, with the hundreds of such centers all over China providing “treatment” to the nation’s web-addicted teens.