White paper on the psychological condition of China’s left-behind children in 2019 released

On the road to School (上学路上), a Beijing-based Chinese NGO that focuses on children, and particularly their spiritual growth, released the “White Paper on the Psychological State of China’s Left-behind Children in 2019” on January 10th. This is the fifth edition of the white paper since its first release five years ago.

In 2019, the white book analyzed 2,763 data collected from Jiangxi, Anhui and Yunnan provinces, showing the type of violence against children in the area are mainly physical, mental, sexual violence and neglect, with the incidence of 65.1%, 91.3%, 30.6% and 40.6% respectively. It is noteworthy that 13.7% of these children suffer from all four violence types.

The report also shows that students who don’t live with parents have significantly higher depression level than their peers with parents living together. The left-behind children tend to have lower depression level if they are satisfied with the contact frequency and quality with their parents.

Scholars pointed out that left-behind children face many problems on their learning and growing journey. Migrant parents are advised to keep active contact with their children and strive to ensure a good learning environment for left-behind children.

The solution for Chinese left-behind children, as pointed out by researchers, is to reduce the urban-rural gap and to achieve the free movement of labor. Besides, the threshold for migrant workers and their families to live in the city should not be too high. In order to provide better education and environment for left-behind children, community children’s services should also be strengthened to allow social forces to be part of the solutions.