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 it was first released five years ago.
The latest white book analyzes 2,763 pieces of data collected from Jiangxi, Anhui and Yunnan provinces, showing that the main types of violence against children in the area are physical, mental and sexual violence and neglect, with and 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 types of violence.
The report also shows that students who don’t live with their parents have significantly higher depression levels than their peers with parents who living together with them. The left-behind children tend to have lower depression levels if they are satisfied with the frequency and quality of contact with their parents.
Scholars point out that left-behind children face many problems in 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 the researchers, is to reduce the urban-rural gap and to achieve a 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 a 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 solution.