(6 yrs ago)
Not sure whether this is the correct forum but I wanted to know how old a child has to be before they can legally be home alone? I've tried looking at the Child Protection Ordinance but couldn't come up with anything.
Thx in advance.
Not sure, but whatever the legal minimum is that should only be a starting point, with other factors (like child's maturity, length of time to be left alone, time of day, ability to contact others in emergencies, home situation etc etc) taken into consideration.
From the article in the link below there does not seem to be a minimum age :
Thx for the link, it corresponds with what I heard on the news last night.
I thought it was 12?? They brought it in after some cases of kids being left alone & falling out of windows etc. My neighbour told me off for leaving my 8 yr old alone for 5 mins while I went to get the mail from the lobby- she also said under 12 year olds aren't to be left.
My guess is that it would be about 12 even though I couldn't find nything specific when I went looking, but I mintain my earlier point that even if it's above any legal age it should still come down to individual situations as to whether it's right or not. And maybe that's what the govt official was referring to when he said that the existing regs adequately cover it.
My understanding of it is HK does not specifically have a law as to the age a child can be left alone, the act of leaving a child alone at home is not illegal. However, should anything happen to the child, the parents/guardians will be charged with negligence if the child is 16 or under.
Most recent thing I can find was from The Standard, 18 Feb. '09:
But a spokeswoman for the Labour and Welfare Bureau said the government has no plans to make leaving children unattended at home a criminal offence, claiming that existing legislation offered sufficient protection.
Maybe there's a need to make this issue clearer. This news from the Standard today says that the child is 13, but the parent has to pay bail to be released...
Composer-singer arrested for leaving kid at home alone (06-03 19:30)
Composer-singer Chow Kai-sang was released on bail after he was arrested for leaving his son at home alone.
Chow's neighbor found the 13-year-old boy wandering outside his Happy Valley residence at late hour and reported to police. Chow just returned home from work in Hainan as police arrived.