Over two million left-behind children are living alone
Today, the National Women’s Federation released a study of rural children who are left behind (while their parents go out to work in the cities) or 留守儿童 in China, which showed the latest data of the current situation of children in urban and rural areas. Based on the 2010 sixth census data, the number of children left behind in rural areas throughout the country reached 61,025,500, accounting for 37.7% of the total number of children in rural areas, accounting for 21.88% of the total number of children. Compared with the 2005 national sample survey, there has been an increase of about 242 million left-behind children within five years. The researchers pointed out that up to 2,057,000 of the left-behind children in rural areas were living alone which required particular care.
留守儿童 (the “left-behind” children), refers to the children whose single or both parents go out to work in cities, while the children are left in the rural areas. They generally live with father or mother, or the elders in the family, other relatives or friends. In September 2012, the Ministry of Education announced that in term of compulsory education, over 12.6 million students are following their parents to study in the cities, while 22 million children are left behind to live and study in the rural areas in the stage of compulsory education.
Revelation given by the results of this study are that:
1. The left-behind children in rural areas is a long-term, complex and urgent issue, and we must attach great importance;
2. A reduction mechanism should be set up to solve the problem of children left behind in rural areas;
3. Integrating the migrant children into the cities is the key in solving the left-behind children issue.