In order to better reflect the progress of “the National Program of Action for Child Development in China (2011-2020)”, the National Statistics Bureau recently summarized and analyzed data for 2016 collected from the relevant departments in five different fields, including health, education, welfare, social environment and legal protection. The results appear to show that the Program’s implementation has proceeded smoothly and a number of indexes have achieved their goals ahead of schedule.
In the field of health, children’s life quality has been improving continuously. In 2016, the infant mortality rate was 7.5%, the under-5 mortality rate was 10.2% and the low birth-weight rate was 2.73%. The promotion of breastfeeding has made progress too. The rate of pure breastfeeding for 0-to-6-month-infants reached 75.5%, 50% above target. The severe malnutrition rate and the prevalence rate of anemia among children under 5 were 1.44% and 4.78% respectively. For child health care, the vaccination rates for BCG vaccines, polio vaccines and a few others were kept higher than 99%. The rate of systematic supervision for children under 3 was 91.1%, and that of children under 7 was 92.4%. The data for fatal injuries has been decreasing constantly. In 2016, the fatal injury rate for children under 18 was 15.09 out of 100,000, 7.32/100,000 lower than the data in 2010 and meeting the target.
In the field of education, preschool education has developed fast. Financial investment in this field was 4.2% in 2016, 2.5 times that in 2010. Across the nation there were 240,000 preschools, more than 2.23 million full-time teachers and 44.14 million enrolled students in total. When it comes to compulsory education, the consolidation rate for the 9-year compulsory education reached 93.4%. For special education, there were 2,080 special schools, 53,000 full-time teachers and 492,000 enrolled students in 2016. Furthermore, the development of secondary education has been growing stably. The gross enrolment rate increased from 82.5% in 2010 to 87.5% in 2016; meanwhile, full-time teachers increased by 14.2%.
In the field of welfare, the total number of child adoptions and service institutions was 705, including 465 child welfare agencies and 240 juvenile protection centers. The number of orphans was 460,000 in 2016, including 19,000 raised in foster homes, 113,000 accepted at adoption agencies and 53,000 accepted at child welfare agencies. Also, the ability to provide rehabilitation services to disabled children has improved. There were 7,858 disability service centers carrying out rehabilitation activities for disabled children in 2016, and 150,000 children received basic services.
In the field of the social environment, as the implementation of safety facilities and the promotion of safety education and activities keeps going, children’s learning and living environments have enhanced significantly. National investment in environmental protection is increasing and pollution control is strengthening, both supporting a better growth environment for children. Additionally, cultural products for children have become more diverse. In 2016, there were 212 journals and 44,000 kinds of books available for children. Among the 3,153 public libraries, 122 of them were child libraries, providing more than 42.3 million books. The lengths of broadcast time for children’s radio, TV and animation programs were 225,000 hours, 484,000 hours and 329,000 hours respectively. What’s more, the number of minors visiting museums reached 236 million in 2016, more than double the figure for 2010.
Lastly, in the field of legal protection, China has added specific regulations regarding the protection of minors within the general provisions of civil law, enacting an Anti-Domestic Violence Law and revising the Law on the Protection of Minors. The government aims at cracking down on crimes against children. In 2016, the Ministry of Public Security initiated an emergency information platform for missing children to support anti-human trafficking activities, and solved 618 child trafficking cases. The report adds that the scope of legal aid provided to children keeps expanding and the quality of services keeps improving. There were 136,000 cases of child legal aid in 2016, representing an increase of 55.5% compared to 2010. In addition, the juvenile delinquency rate has been decreasing. The number of juvenile delinquents was 35,743 in 2016, 47.6% lower than the number in 2010 and accounting for 21.3% of total criminals.