China on Monday banned minors from getting tattoos, saying body art for those below 18 is against “socialist core values”, urging families and schools to discourage the practice.
Any tattoo artist or shop found to be tattooing minors will be strictly punished according to law, the Chinese ministry of civil affairs said in a statement carried by state media on Monday.
Children who already have tattoos but are willing to remove them will be given medical guidance to do so, the statement added.
The ban was part of the Measures for the Personal Governance of Minors, a set of rules designed by China’s cabinet after it consulted several government departments, including the Communist Party of China (CPC) Youth League and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) – which regulates visual and streaming content.
The ministry consulted several ministries and departments including the CPC’s propaganda department, the Supreme People’s Court, the public security ministry – which looks after internal security -and the health ministry.The measures say that the “state, society, schools and families should educate and help minors to establish and practice socialist core values, fully understand the harm that tattoos may cause, enhance their (minors’) awareness and ability to protect themselves, and rationally refuse tattoos”.
The rules stipulate that no “enterprise, organisation or individual shall provide tattoo services to minors, and shall not coerce, induce or instigate minors to tattoo”.
Tattoo parlours would have to ask for identification, the rules said.
Shanghai, China’s financial hub, was the first city to restrict anyone under the age of 18 from getting cosmetic surgery or tattoos on March 1.
“The Shanghai government said people under 18 years old will be prohibited from cosmetic surgery without approval from their guardians. Tattoo parlours are completely banned from offering their services to minors,” the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (SCMP) had reported.