On June 9th, four children in Bijie committed suicide and shocked the nation. On June 10th, Premier Li Keqiang held a conference to announce a policy that aims to encourage migrant workers to return to their hometown to start a business. The efficiency and implementation of the policy is not yet clear. Besides government policies, many NGOs also step in and improve children’s mental health. For example, sending social workers based in schools; communicate with children via written letters; holding events to connect children and their parents. Family and schools also play crucial roles.
What are the best solutions to solve the left-behind children problems? The China Philanthropy Times, together with Sina and iFeng, surveyed their readers about the new policy and other possible solutions.
The survey started on June 16th and ended on June 18th. The results show that over 60% of participants thought that families and relatives should take the biggest responsibility. As guardians of the children, parents have the first and foremost responsibility. Over a third of the people believe government should take responsibility. As for the migrant workers’ entrepreneurship policy, over 60% of the participants thought that it is not likely to be a success. The implementation of the policy may not be effective. 30% of the people believed that the policy benefits both rural development and left-behind children. 10% had no preferences. As to “realistic solutions”, 65% believed that the fundamental solution was to reform China’s Hukou and education systems; giving children the freedom to study and stay in the city with their migrant parents. 18.5% of the participants believed that the best solution would be to strengthen law and policy. Only 8% suggested NGOs and social workers should step in and intervene mental health.