Advisors Calls for Care of Rural Children Left by Migrant Parents

Rural children left by their migrant parents should be under governmental concern, a political advisor said Thursday at the ongoing annual session of China's top advisory body.

As many farmers are flowing into cities, who leave behind their children in the countryside, the integrity of rural families is broken and family's role in education and fostering is weakened, said Shen Shuji, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Such family problems can lead to social problems, the advisor warned.

Shen made the remarks on behalf of the All-China Women's Federation while giving a speech on a plenary meeting of the annual session of the Tenth CPPCC National Committee, which opened last Friday and is scheduled to conclude on March 13.

Official statistics showed China has more than 150 million migrant laborers. Left behind the large-number adult migrants are more than 20 million children aged from six to 16, most of whom are under the care of their gerontic grandparents, or the family's relatives.

The long-term absence of parents will aggravate children's difficulties in study and psychological problems, or even delinquency, the advisor said.

The lack of parents' protection also leaves such children vulnerable to criminal attacks, Shen said.

Shen calls for efforts to investigate family problems of migrant laborers so as to provide support for related policy making.

Shen proposed to add an article on guardian consignation to the law on protection of children to make sure children left behind by parents are under effective protection.

The advisor also suggested the establishment of an assistance mechanism to families of migrant laborers. 

(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2006)


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