Migrant Children

Large-scale population migration began in the 1980s in China. In 2020, there were 71.09 million migrant children aged 0-17 in which 64.07 million of them lived in urban areas, accounting for 34.2% of the urban children population. That is to say, 1 out of 3 urban children was a migrant child (from '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). Most migrant children live and study in the area they moved to for an extended period of time, they are not temporary migrants as people generally perceive them to be. They migrate with their parents, moving to a new location on an average of every four years. More than half of children aged 8-13 years migrate after over five years. The large-scale movement has caused many migrant children to lose their support system such as community support, and they often face challenges and discrimination in their new environment.

In recent years, the impact of population migration on children has become more prominent. In response to this, the government has implemented policies on education, health and social security which focuses on issues affecting migrant and left-behind children. The National Program of Action for Children (2011-2020) has integrated policies and measures of various departments to development goals and action plans involving migrant and left-behind children, this includes reducing the mortality rate of migrant children, promoting equal access to compulsory education for migrant children, ensuring basic public services for migrant and left-behind children are included in the NPA and carried out effectively.

One of World Vision China's focus is to improve the well-being of vulnerable children in urban settings. In 2011, we began the "Migrant Children Project" in Guangzhou and Foshan. Through our collaboration with government agencies such as the All-China Women's Federation, sub-district offices, Chinese Communist Youth League and civil social organizations, World Vision continues to serve migrant children adopting innovative and professional social service models.

World Vision's work with migrant children in other provinces also includes:

  • Education and child protection projects for migrant children in Yunnan Province
  • Child protection and education programs in temporary shelters for migrant children 
  • Migrant children school services project Guangdong
  • Guarding Growth (守护成长)- Rescue and protection of minors demonstration project in Yunnan
  • Migrant children community center project in Guangzhou
  • Migrant children protection and development project in Guangxi

Through our work with migrant children, World Vision aims to

1.Help migrant children build positive relationships with their peers. This includes 

  • Ensuring migrant children aged 6-18 develop healthily
  • Raising awareness and equipping migrant children aged 6-18 to protect themselves and their peers from violence

2. Promote positive parenting amongst families of migrant children. This includes

  • Equipping caregivers of migrant children aged 6-18 with positive disciplining skills
  • Equipping caregivers of migrant children aged 0-6 about early childhood development 
  • Raising awareness amongst caregivers of migrant children aged 0-18 about violence against children and how to protect them

3. Strengthen communities' ability to care for migrant children and support them to assimilate and build positive relationships. This includes

  • Ensuring there are services and facilities to help migrant children and their families assimilate in the community
  • Equipping the capacity of community social workers to support migrant children build positive relationships with others
  • Support community social workers to hold dialogues about development and protection of local migrant children

World Vision supported our local partners in programs to serve migrant children. The project uses education and the exchange of experiences to transform children's support systems. This includes working with communities through activities such as summer camps, children groups, and thematic workshops to engage with migrant children and help them improve their mental well-being, ensure they are well-integrated into their community, and teach them life skills and how to protect themselves. Secondly is to strengthen children's support system, which consists of their families, schools, and community, by organizing parenting workshops and knowledge and experience exchange sessions, equipping families, teachers, and community social workers to better care for migrant children, protect them, and effectively respond to their development needs. In 2023, our migrant children's programs in Guangxi, Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Shaanxi directly impacted the lives of 5,558 people.

Highlights of our projects include:

  • 4,660 migrant children participated in activities that helped them develop and protect themselves.
  • 170 caregivers trained in positive parenting and child protection.
  • 573 community members equipped to support migrant children's development, including safety and encouraging them to participate.

OUR Projects