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90% of left-behind children without parental care in China
   2016-11-10 15:09:51    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Zhang Shuai

There are currently around 9.02 million left-behind children in rural China according to a new survey by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. [File photo:jsnol.com]

There are around 9.02 million left-behind children, with either one or both parents who are migrant workers in cities, in rural China according to a new survey by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, The Beijing News reported on Thursday.

8.05 million of them have no parents to take care of them, meaning almost 90 percent are being looked after by grandparents. 360 thousand of the left-behind children have no guardians at all, accounting for around 4 percent of the total number of left-behind children. The survey also shows that the highest percentage is to be found in the 6 to 13 age group - 5.59 million.

The total is much smaller than the 60 million figure reported by the All-China Women's Federation.

The drop, according to officials from the civil affairs authorities, has much to do with the effective implementation of new policies, including the urbanization drive, poverty reduction and household registration reforms. Permits allowing migrant workers' children to study in the cities where their parents work, and incentives to start up businesses back in their hometowns have also helped reduce the number of left-behind children.

In releasing the numbers on Wednesday, the Ministry of Civil Affairs also decided to start a nationwide campaign to have all left-behind children in rural China in good custody by the end of 2017, and to cut the number of incidents where children are assaulted by their guardians.

It also plans to work closely with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Security to ensure migrant workers fulfill their parental obligations. Parents of children who can't find an adult to provide suitable care will be urged to return to their hometown by the local authorities.

Local authorities are also being urged to register in a timely fashion all households containing left-behind children and work with schools to ensure they receive their compulsory education.

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