Filial duty no longer absolute obligation after law revision
Central News Agency
2010-01-07 10:01 PM
Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) Parents who have abused their children can no longer expect to be looked after by the youngsters when they are old and financially dependent following the passage by the legislature of draft revisions to the Criminal Law and the Civil Law exempting abused children from filial duties.

As filial piety is a core value in Taiwanese society, the law has been strict against those who fail to fulfill their obligation to take care of their parents, subjecting them to jail terms of over six months and under five years on charges of parent abandonment.

The revisions change the absolute obligation, excluding those who have been maltreated or abandoned by their parents for over two years. The Executive Yuan passed the draft revisions of the Civil Law and the Criminal Law Nov. 5 last year and the exclusion clauses laws were supported by legislators.

Legislator Sun Ta-chien, one of the initiators of the law revision, said Thursday that statistics compiled by the Children's Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior indicate that 77 percent of the children who suffer from physical or sexual abuse are victims of their parents or step-parents.

With the exclusion clauses, the law will demand that parents fulfill their responsibilities first in order to be entitled to being supported in their old age by their children.

Meanwhile, some senior citizen groups proposed that the government should work out measures to allow old people to take care of themselves without support from their children.

Wu Yu-chin, secretary-general of the Federation for the Welfare of the Elderly, pointed out that the federation has handled many cases of abandoned seniors whose children have claimed that they were not willing to look after them because of their actions as parents.

She suggested that under the social welfare act, the government has the responsibility to provide assistance to old people.

(By Huang Min-hsi and Lillian Lin)

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