|Many left-behind children are raised by their grandparents|
|Some children have to fend for themselves in rural areas|
A number of these children have led lives of juvenile delinquency, or have committed suicide. Last year a boy and three girls, aged between five and 13, who lived in poverty near Bijie, Guizhou, killed themselves by drinking pesticide.
In the same place in 2012, five left-behind boys living on the streets were found dead in a large garbage bin after having inhaled carbon monoxide while burning charcoal to keep warm.
Last month a directive from the State Council ordered local governments to build a database of these children. The authorities must have one file per child, and each updated on a regular basis.
Lawyer Li Ying, director of the Beijing Yuangzhong Gender Development Centre and an activist in helping left-behind children, said having the database was essential in providing better care and support.
|Left-behind children don't get much of an education|
"The authorities should focus more on luring the parents back home, such as creating jobs and improving their social insurance," Li said. "That way their children can enjoy normal family love."
It's shocking three decades later the government is finally taking some interest in this major group of people, and when it comes to security, one would have thought the government would want to pay more attention to them.
These migrant workers are the ones who sacrificed so much to help build the country economically to the world's second-largest economy, and yet the government only now thinks to focus more attention on their left-behind children.
If there are over 60 million of them, imagine how many aren't properly educated, don't have the necessary social skills let alone life skills to become fully-functioning members of society?
Some NGOs have tried to help this group of people, but were previously thwarted by the government through accusing them of not having proper licenses to run schools for children of migrant workers or making it hard for people to donate to charities that want to help them.
Perhaps now the government see the disparity is too great to ignore?