Increasing Opportunities for China’s Migrant Children

According to the National Committee on Children and Women under the State Council (NWCCW) there are over 20 million migrant children living in China’s cities. Because so many of these migrant children lack any type of official registration, their complex health, educational, and psychosocial needs are often overlooked.

Since 2001, NWCCW and UNICEF have been collaborating to develop a system to register migrant children in cities throughout China. “The registration system developed by the project makes these children more visible to the local authorities and facilitates their protection and referral to services,” said Zhang Yali, Plan of Action and Promotion of Child Rights Program Officer of the UNICEF Office for China, “Knowing the exact number of the children of migrants can help the government arrange resources for their education or health.”

While many parents are reluctant to register their children, fearing state penalties, free medical check-ups, sports kits, books and computers are provided to provide incentive. Furthermore, these provisions help close the “digital gap” between migrant children and their peers.

Since the registration system was developed, UNICEF has registered 682,000 migrant children and therefore increased their access to health and education services, and increased the availability of data on migrant children to support municipal urban planning.

Sources:

National Committee on Children and Women under the State Council