China prohibited adolescents from getting tattoos on Monday, citing “socialist core values” and urged families and schools to avoid the practise.

Any tattoo artist or store found tattooing children will face serious legal penalties, according to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs on Monday.

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Children who already have tattoos but want to get rid of them will be provided medical advice, according to the statement.

The ban was included in the Measures for the Personal Governance of Minors, a set of rules devised by China’s cabinet after consulting with several government agencies, 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.

Several ministries and departments were contacted, including the CPC’s propaganda department, the Supreme People’s Court, the public security ministry (in charge of internal security), and the health ministry.

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According to the legislation, 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.”

No “enterprise, organisation or individual shall provide tattoo services to minors, and shall not coerce, induce or instigate minors to tattoo,” according to the guidelines.

Tattoo parlours would be required to ask for identification, according to the rules.

On March 1, Shanghai, China’s financial centre, became the first to prohibit anybody under the age of 18 from having cosmetic surgery or obtaining tattoos.

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“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,” according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (SCMP),

The anti-tattoo campaign is not only focused on kids; the CPC is also targeting performers, athletes, and celebrities.

Last December, members of China’s national football team were told to cover up or remove tattoos in order to create a “good example for society.”

The General Administration of Sport of China issued the directive (GAS).

Tattooed artists are already barred from appearing on Chinese state television programmes.

“Taxi drivers in the northwestern Chinese city of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province, were ordered by the government to get rid of their tattoos last year. In 2018, the government banned hip-hop artists with tattoos from appearing on TV shows. Two months later, it banned tattoos at the Strawberry Music Festival in Hangzhou,” SupChina, a China-focused website, reported last year.