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Children of Migrant Workers

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Yibo Zheng

Chinese150

May 13, 2015

Children of migrant workers

Part1: Introduction

There are more than 274 million rural migrant workers in China, making up more than one-third of the entire working population. The increase of migrant workers has been the main factor of China’s high GDP and fast economic growth in the last 60years but they still be marginalized and experience institutionalized discrimination. Besides that, there are an estimated 80 million children of migrant workers, and 75% of them are left-behind children, which means they have to separated from their parents and have only limited contact. Rural migrant children in urban have even worse situation. Most of migrant workers family are very poor, they live in overcrowded dormitories, and eat the unhealthy food everyday. That kind of living conditions is really bad for these kids’ growth. In addition, they also have limited access to education and medical welfare benefits because the hukou system.

There is an old saying: “A nation strengthens along with its young generation.”(少年强则国强)The development of China depends on the young generation. So the issues about the children of migrant works have significant relationship with the China social stability and economic growth.

The thesis statement is that in China, there is a huge amount of the children of migrant workers with rapidly growth rate. The poor living conditions and the lack of education are the main factors, which cause the serious social issues. The issues about these children are very important to the development of China’s economic and education system.

Part 2: The past origins of issue

          The issues about the children of migrant workers were started in 1980s, the economic reforms achieved, which means the cities need a huge amount of cheap lubour. That leads to a one of the bigest human migrations in China’s history, millions of  young men and women from the countryside traveled to some big cities and found a job in factories and construcation sites. Some of them left their children in the hometown and others were moving with their kids. As the increase of the migrant workers, the issues about their children become more serious and complicated.

Part 3: The present status of issue in China

        Nowadays, the children of migrant workers problems are still serious. The left-behind children and the rural migrant children in urban are facing different situation.

       For the left-behind children, based on data from the 2005 By-Census 47 percent of them were living with one parent, most of them with their mother, and 26 percent were living with grandparents. For these kids, the grandparents and other relatives of them are usually unable to act as great substitute parents. Another research from Changsha government shows, about 44 percent of left-behind children could only saw their parents once a year, and 44 percent of them could saw their parents twice a year, 3 percent children were able to see their once only two years. In some special cases, some children have not seen their parents over 5 years. They lacked the supervision from their parents; the left-behind should be more self-reliant.

   Most of time, for left-behind children, the anxiety of separation from their parents is horrible; especially for the younger children in the first few times their parents leave. They didn’t have emotional support and care from their parents. The communications between parents and children are basically relied on telephone. The long time separate and the limited connect with there are cause some kind of mental distress. Some of these children were autistic, lacked confidence or had self-abased, while other tended to be asocial or have criminal behaviour.

 A research shows that 80% teenager crime are relatived to the left-behind children. Lacking the take care from their parents and active target, some children turn to become criminal. They also hate their parents for leaving them, or transferred their anger on to others. The low educations parents unusual talk about moral issue also become a factor to the children behavioral problem. In May 2015, six of the seven left-behind children were arrested by the theft and cut people. These teenagers talked to the police that they lose the goal of their life. There were many cases like this, not only the parents, the government also should pay more attention to the left-behind children criminal.

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