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Two-thirds of children 'left home alone'

Sixty-six per cent of children say they have been left home alone by parents, more than a quarter of them when aged six or under, according to a Democratic Party survey.

The party surveyed 601 children aged between six and 12, and 598 parents, from July 30 to August 18. About 48 per cent of parents admitted they had left children home alone.

A total of 46 per cent of the children who said they had been left home alone were aged between seven and nine at the time, 28 per cent were aged six or below and 26 per cent aged between 10 and 12.

When asked at what age children should not be left home alone, 25 per cent of surveyed parents said six and under, 23 per cent said nine and under and 45 per cent 12 and under.

When asked the same question, 44 per cent of the children said six and under, 26 per cent nine and under and 27 per cent 12 and under.

The survey showed 38 per cent of parents admitted they had never taught their children about dealing with abuse. About 16 per cent of parents admitted they might be unaware of possible child abuse.

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Eighty per cent of the children interviewed said they knew how to handle abuse. The rest admitted they had no idea.

On children's autonomy, 57 per cent of parents interviewed said that in general adults did not listen to children's views.

Democrat legislator Wong Sing-chi called on the Government to formulate a comprehensive children's law to step up protection, saying an independent commission on children's rights should be established to monitor the implementation of policy and handle complaints.

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