BBC Video Highlights the Issue of China's Left-behind Children
On April 12, BBC posted a moving video that tells the story of one "left-behind" boy in China. Like millions of other children, Tang Yuwen and his two siblings are being looked after by his grandmother while his parents work in a factory in a far-away city. Although he misses them terribly, all he can do is wait for their return. When he grows up, he too plans to leave the village but he would do one thing different: he would take his children with him so they never have to go through the agony of separation as he did.
Watch the video here.
Hope is on the horizon
Reforms in the Hukou system are currently underway, which will allow more migrant parent workers to bring their children with them to their city of work. However, the reforms won't reach everyone, especially the millions of migrant workers in China's first tier cities. But this February, there was a new flicker of hope for left-behind children when the government published a set of guidelines, signed by Premier Li Keqiang, that give greater responsibility to local governments, village committees, education authorities and schools to ensure left-children are properly looked after.
As a first step in consolidating the guidelines, authorities launched a general survey on left-behind children in rural areas this March, which is expected to run until July 2016. The survey will give a much-needed overview of the current number of left-behind children. The last survey of left-behind children by an authoritative organization was done by the All-China Women's Federation in 2013, which estimated that China had about 61.02 million left-behind children.