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5 Bullying and delinquency
In 1994, the Ministry of Justice launched the system of Civil Liberties Commissioners for the Rights of the Child to handle issues of children's rights professionally. 690 special commissioners were placed in Regional Legal Affairs Bureaus and District Legal Affairs Bureaus nationwide as of July 1, 2003, to provide consultation services to victims of bullying and to take appropriate measures to eliminate the practice of bullying.
According to the data obtained from the Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, 25,037 incidents of bullying (down 19.0% from the previous year) occurred in public elementary, junior high, senior high, and special education schools in FY 2001. By type of bullying (aggregate total of 34,817 incidents), teasing and taunting had the largest distribution with 10,684 cases (30.7%), followed by verbal threats with 6,381 cases (18.3%), assaults with 5,394 cases (15.5%), and exclusions from groups with 4,915 cases (14.1%). Bullying takes various forms, and not all of which are covered by criminal justice procedures. Moreover, in reality, the very nature of bullying makes it difficult to grasp the actual situations.
The number of cases resulting from bullying and the number of juveniles subjected to clearance and guidance for bullying both showed a long-term downward trend after peaking in 1985 at 638 cases and 1,950 persons. The numbers were 94 cases and 225 persons in 2002 (Source: Data by Community Safety Bureau, National Police Agency). Eighty-nine of them were cases resulting from bullying and 5 were cases committed by juvenile victims in retaliation for bullying.