Premier Li Keqiang called for improving care systems for children left behind in rural areas by migrant worker parents, during a State Council executive meeting on Jan 27.
China has hundreds of thousands of left-behind children in rural areas, as their parents work in cities while contributing to China’s economic development, and this situation will not change anytime soon, the Premier said.
“Left-behind children should never be a source of pain or sorrow for families and society!” the Premier stressed at the meeting.
“In recent years, some extreme tragedies have called attention to their plight. We should identify the duty of the supervisors of these left-behind children, and local government, village committees and schools must carry out their duties,” he said.
The Premier said most of the parents migrate to cities to provide better protection for their families and children, and their major concern is the safety of their children at home.
He also stressed that the whole society should give a helping hand to protect the left-behind children. Charities and social organizations are encouraged to participate to improve the system.
The meeting also decided that a system will be set up to serve such children by reporting on them, intervening and offering assistance as needed, all to keep them from falling prey to criminal activity, and to improve boarding schools.
“Of course, the most important solution is to reduce the number of left-behind children by helping migrant workers be accepted in cities, or return to their hometowns for entrepreneurship and employment,” the Premier said.