As of the end of August, over 680,000 previously unsupervised “left-behind children” in rural areas have been placed in the custody of guardians, according to an office affiliated to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA).
The term “left-behind children” refers to children whose parents have left their homes in rural areas to become migrant workers in towns or cities, leaving behind their children either unsupervised or in the care of relatives or neighbors.
Since November 2016, a total of 11,821 left-behind children who had dropped out of school have resumed their education, according to the office under an inter-ministerial conference established by the government to protect these children.
Police nationwide have registered 125,377 left-behind children on the national household records that were previously unaccounted for.
Police also warned 90,822 parents for not fulfilling their parental responsibilities. A total of 282 parents were warned, detained or fined by police, and 17 were deprived of their guardianship by courts, the office said in a statement.
During the campaign, local governments prioritized the protection of left-behind children in their annual tasks, and were active in allocating funds for the children’s protection and providing them with assistance such as medical care and education, according to the statement.
The office has requested police and government at all levels to make further efforts in the campaign, including more targeted measures to make sure no left-behind children are left without guardians.
As of November last year, China had 9.02 million left-behind children, according to a census jointly carried out by the ministries of civil affairs, education and public security from March 2016.