Left Behind Children
Left-behind children are minors under the age of 16 whose parents have migrated to find work, or one parent have migrated to find work and the other is unable to care for their children. In 2020, there were 41.77 million left-behind children in rural areas and 25.16 million left-behind children in urban areas across China (Source: 'What the 2020 Census Can Tell Us About Children in China: Facts and Figures'，2023. National Bureau of Statistics of China, UNICEF China, UNFPA China). Children left behind often struggle to receive emotional and academic support at home, which affects their physical and mental development. In order to help these children and the challenges they face, effective social support and policies need to be in place.
In Feb 2016, the State Council issued the Opinions on Strengthening Care and Protection of Rural Children Left-behind, it proposes for the first time a comprehensive resolution for children left behind rural areas. It looks to promote the healthy growth of minors as a foundation, enforce protection laws, improve regulations and procedures, strengthen the responsibility of family guardianship, foster care and protection, gradually reduce the number of children left behind, and guarantee the rights to protection, health, education and other needs of children left behind in rural areas. Since then, significant progress has been made in building care and protection systems, and it has been included into the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan for Promoting Equalization of Basic Public Services for the first time.
To support children left behind in rural areas so that they can learn and live in a safe and nurturing environment, enjoy their childhood and live life to the fullest, World Vision implements projects that promotes the overall wellbeing and care of left-behind children:
- Serve children in rural communities, especially children left behind, through an integrated child focused area development program
- Initiate the establishment of centers in Shaanxi Province to provide left-behind children a place where they can develop good study skills, nurture healthy living habits and behavior, and reduce the exposure of these children to safety hazards.
- Collaborate with China Charity Federation in a three-year project called “A Better Tomorrow for Children” project (为了明天--关爱儿童项目), to build and provide robust welfare services for left-behind children through children centers.
- Collaborate with China Philanthropy Research Institute of Beijing Normal University, Yangxian Civil Affairs Bureau, and Longchuan Civil Affairs Bureau to implement a three-year child protection project (童心同行) which focuses on strengthening child protection systems at the grass-roots level.
These projects has enabled the formation of child welfare and protection systems at the grass roots level, improve the quality of life for children and further develop the protection of children's rights and social well-being.