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The Children of Migrant Workers in China

Table of Contents

  1. Part one: Those left behind

  2. Part two: Under the same blue sky? Rural migrant children in urban China
  3. Part three: The government's response

  4. Part four: Conclusions and recommendations


Part Two: Under the same blue sky?
Rural migrant children in urban China
 

When Premier Wen Jiabao visited a school for migrant children in Beijing in 2003, he wrote on the blackboard: 同在蓝天下, 共同成长进步 (Under the same blue sky, grow up and progress together).[1] Sadly, the same blue sky is just about the only thing the children of migrant workers (liudong ertong 流动儿童) do share with urban children. Low household income combined with the household registration (hukou 户口) system means they are marginalized and deprived of equal access to education, social and medical welfare and the right to participate in urban life.

Despite immense hardships, more and more migrant workers are keeping their children with them in the cities rather than leaving them behind in the countryside. Recent studies have shown that whole family units now account for about a quarter of the entire migrant population. One-third of all migrants say they have no plans to leave the city,[2] suggesting that in future a higher number of children of migrant workers will be brought up in urban areas. Indeed, in Henan province, the number of migrant children has already increased by 25 percent annually since 2000.[3]

However, because many migrant workers are not registered, children under 16 years old are not legally required to register as temporary residents, and only a small proportion of migrant children born in urban areas have their births registered,[4] it is very difficult to accurately gauge the number of migrant children in China’s cities today.[5] [6]  The most commonly cited estimate is based on the 2000 census, which indicated that 19 percent of the migrant population were below 18 years of age, amounting to 19.8 million children, or six percent of all children in China. Some 11.2 million migrant children were below 15 years of age. Overall, 51 percent of migrant children were boys but more girls were found in the 16 to 17 year age bracket, indicating a higher demand of factories for young female workers (See the numbers and the age of children of migrant workers).[7] [8]

The highest concentrations of migrant children were in Guangdong, Anhui, Henan and Sichuan, which, together with Hunan, Hubei, Shandong and Jiangsu, accounted for 49 percent of migrant children in China (See the maps of provinces producing and receiving the largest number of migrant children). [9]

The 2000 census showed that about 72 percent of migrant children were living in a family environment (56.5 percent with their parents; 7.5 percent with their grandparents and about 6 percent with other family members). The younger the child, the higher the likelihood they were living within the family. About 80 percent of those under 15 years of age were living with their parents, 12 percent with grandparents and six percent with other relatives.[10] This pattern differs from that of left-behind children in which a lower proportion of younger children were living with their parents. The 28 percent of migrant children living outside the family were predominantly older children who had entered the workforce themselves and were living in dormitories or were sharing accommodation with their co-workers.

Far from being a “stranger in the city,” most migrant children have lived in urban areas for a large part of their lives. The 2000 census estimated that 29.9 percent of migrant children were born in cities. Among those who were not, 30 percent had been living there for five years or more, and 75 percent for two years or more. According to a survey of migrant children in Beijing by the China Youth Research Centre in 2006, 10.4 percent of migrant children in the third year of primary school to the third year of middle school were born in Beijing, 32.8 percent had been in Beijing for five years or more, 28 percent between two and five years, and 23.9 percent between one half and two years. Only 4.9 percent had been in Beijing for less than half a year.[11]

Despite being long-term residents of the city, these children are nevertheless still treated as outsiders. Their rights to medical care, education and social participation are limited, leading to a higher incidence of physical and psychological health problems, and a greater vulnerability to crime.


Exclusion from the healthcare system

With the development of the private economy and privatization of most state-owned enterprises, the vast majority of Chinese citizens now have to bear their own medical expenses.[12] [13]  The state has reduced public funding for healthcare and encouraged public health institutions to see themselves as independent economic entities operating on a fee-for-service basis. As a result, in the early 2000s, out-of-pocket expenditure accounted for more than 60 percent of total health spending in China, compared with less than 20 percent in Japan.[14] The government is trying to establish a health insurance system that covers the whole population but at present most medical expenses, ranging from out-patient consultations to major surgery, are borne by users. Soaring medical expenses have become the most pressing concern for ordinary Chinese citizens, concerns summed up in the now commonly used phrase kanbingnan kanbinggui 看病难,看病贵 (Seeing a doctor is both difficult and expensive).[15] A simple influenza vaccination can easily cost about 200 yuan, equivalent to a quarter of the minimum wage in Guangzhou.[16] Moreover, many hospitals conduct unnecessary and expensive tests in order to increase revenue.

A migrant worker who took her son to a hospital in Changsha told an online discussion:

My son has had a mild fever for the last few days. Today I took him to the provincial health centre for women and children. After I paid six yuan registration fee, I went up to the fourth floor to see the doctor. The doctor said my son had tonsillitis. He tested his blood … and then put him on the intravenous drip and [conducted other tests]…

Her son was given 12 days of medicine for an oral inflammation, four shots and one intravenous injection, totaling 287 yuan.[17]

In mid 2007, a family sued a hospital in Ningbo for malpractice claiming that the hospital required doctors to prescribe unnecessary medicine to patients in order to earn more money. The expert witness for the plaintiff pointed out that the doctor must have been aware the patient was suffering from common influenza but conducted so many unnecessary tests that the patient died of allergic shock.[18]

Because most migrants cannot afford exorbitant medical fees and their children are not covered by state-sponsored health insurance schemes, migrant children are probably most vulnerable to accident and disease.

Maternal care

China has made a remarkable effort to reduce maternal deaths over the last two decades. In 1991, the maternal mortality rate was 80 per 100,000[19] [20] live births but by 2004 that figure had fallen to only 48 per 100,000 (See maternal deaths in China 1991 to 2007).  In 2001, the Implementing Regulations for the PRC’s Maternal and Infant Health Care Law required local governments to establish neonatal and maternal healthcare systems. Pregnant mothers were encouraged to join healthcare plans and community heathcare teams were set up to educate parents and to inspect nurseries.

In 2005, cities such as Beijing,[21] Tianjin[22] and Chongqing initiated enterprise-based maternal insurance systems that covered prenatal and neonatal health. However, many of these insurance policies target local residents, and the majority of female migrant workers are not able to benefit from them.[23]

Theoretically, the maternal and child healthcare system is open to the migrant population. [24] However, a routine delivery in coastal cities costs on average about 3,000 yuan,[25] [26]  and very few migrant women have prenatal checkups.[27] [28]  On the other hand, some gynaecopathy services that provide free examinations for local women, exclude migrant workers.[29]

A study in Beijing in 2006 found that only 30 percent of migrant women had prenatal examinations. Whilst locals usually had their first checkup a month after conception, most migrant workers had their first examination in the 28th week or later, and usually only to have an ultra-sound examination. Similarly, all local mothers registered with the after-delivery heathcare schemes. However, migrant workers only came back when they had complications.[30] A survey of more than 1,200 Dongguan children at the end of 2004 found that only 64 percent of migrant children were delivered in regular hospitals, compared with all local children.[31]

A study on the health of pregnant migrant workers in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, in 2005 explained:

Migrant workers earned between 500 and 800 yuan a month. Registration and initial check-up costs came to between 100 and 150 yuan. The cost for delivery in a street-level health clinic was 600 to 800 yuan; in a regular hospital it was 1,500 to 2,000 yuan. Medical expense for a complicated delivery came to about 4,000 yuan. Most migrant women, therefore, do not have any neonatal examinations and opt for a home delivery by unlicensed midwives.[32]

As a result, migrant women had a much higher maternal death rate than local women. Over 90 percent of difficult births that required subsequent hospitalization or surgery in Yiwu in 2003 resulted from sub-standard home deliveries.[33] In Beijing, the maternal death rate of the migrant population between 1998 and 2002 was 52.2 per 100,000, three times higher than in the local population.[34] In Guangzhou, the maternal death of migrant workers was double that of locals. In one district in the Pearl River Delta which had 850,000 permanent residents and nearly 1,000,000 migrant workers, almost 90 percent of maternal deaths between 1995 and 2005 were of migrant workers.[35]

Child care

China has strict guidelines on the monitoring of children’s health up to the age of six. Intensive monitoring and home visits are accorded to infants younger than 28 days. Children under one year old also need to undergo a thorough examination in the first, second, fourth, sixth, ninth, and twelfth months. Children aged between one and three years have to get half-yearly checkups and children aged between three and seven need to undergo yearly checkups.[36] [37] [38]  However, most migrant children do not participate in these programmes because of financial difficulties. Indeed, an official from the All China Women’s Federation said that even if schools arranged check-ups, for students, the parents of migrant children might refuse to take part because of the cost.[39]

A 2004 survey in Dongguan found that only 55 percent of migrant children joined healthcare programmes compared with 100 percent of locals. When migrant children were sick, 89 percent would seek medical care compared with 100 percent of local children. And among those who sought medical advice, 60 percent went to unlicensed clinics.[40] A survey of migrant children under seven years old in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, found that 81 percent had never had a medical checkup, and another 15 percent only one. About 84 percent of parents said they were unaware of the importance of regular physical examination.[41]

A high level of preventable disease and death

A lack of regular checkups means treatable illnesses become more serious and complicated. In the spring of 2008, CCTV reported on the case of a premature and seriously ill infant who became progressively worse because his parents could not afford the medical bills. Moreover, the child’s mother, Xiaomin, was a 15-year-old. Originally from Sichuan province, she had travelled to Guangzhou and Beijing to work when she was 13 years old. She gave birth in a rented home, assisted only by her mother.

Migrant children usually have a lower birth weight and a significantly higher proportion of congenital illnesses.[42] [43] [44]  In 2007, many provinces launched campaigns to provide free medical examinations for migrant children. At these examinations it was discovered that although some children suffered from serious health problems, they had never once sought medical treatment.[45] For example, in Shijiazhuang, a girl in her final year of primary school had never had a medical checkup despite being mentally retarded, and having serious eye problems.[46] In a free medical checkup campaign in Wuxi in 2007, only 16 percent of 1,020 migrant children were free from disease.[47] [48] Nine percent of migrant children in Wuxi suffered from anaemia compared with only one percent of the overall population. A quarter of all migrant children were classified as physically weak, compared with only ten percent of the general population. None of the physically weak migrant children was receiving specialist care whilst almost all of the local children were.[49]

Some medical experts have attributed the high prevalence of illness among migrant children to their poor living conditions and a lack of awareness of personal hygiene. However, the primary factor contributing to poor health remains low family income.

A grandmother attends to her 15-month-old grandchild, who was suffering from kidney stones allegedly caused by tainted milk powder, in a hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. (AP Photo) ("China finds more tainted dairy products" Sept 16, 2008)

In September 2008, at least four children died from kidney failure and 13,000 more were hospitalized[50] because of the Chinese milk industry’s systematic and widespread use of the banned chemical melamine to artificially inflate protein level readings in milk products. As most migrant workers could not afford imported baby milk powder, they became one of the most severely affected groups. As the South China Morning Post reported:

In Shenzhen, 19 children have been diagnosed with kidney stones and their parents, most of them migrant workers from remote villages, said they were considering using rice porridge as a substitute. A tin of imported milk powder costs about 200 yuan (HK$227) in Shenzhen – one-fifth of the city's statutory minimum monthly wage. Although the Ministry of Health has promised to give free medical treatment to all children diagnosed with kidney stones, Ms Feng said she had already paid at least 3,000 yuan in medical bills since her baby was admitted to hospital.[51]

The one bright spot for migrant children is the fact that local governments are now more willing to provide free vaccinations. Since 2005, Guangzhou, and many other cities, have provided free vaccinations[52] for tuberculosis, polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, hepatitis B and encephalitis to all children.[53] In 2008, the Beijing Health Bureau issued a notice that all migrant children should be able to receive 15 vaccinations without charge.[54] And in 2008, the Yantai government emphasized that all children, no matter how long they had been or would be in Yantai, were eligible for free vaccinations.[55]

Despite a fall in China’s overall mortality rate of children under five years old from 61 per 1,000 children in 1991 to 27 per 1,000 in 2005,[56] the mortality rate of migrant children is much higher than that of their urban counterparts. A study on the causes of death of children under five in Guangdong found that the rate of migrant children dying of infectious and parasitic diseases was 31 per 100,000 compared with only 2 per 100,000 for local infants.[57] The death rate of migrant infants because of congenital malformations and deformations was more than five times that of local infants. Among eight preventable deaths of young children, migrant children had significantly higher death rates in all of eight categories. For example, only 73 per 100,000 local infants died of neonatal asphyxia compared with 411 migrant infants[58] (See comparison of the cause of death of children under 5 in Guangzhou).


Discrimination in the education system

The 2006 Compulsory Education Law of the PRC (revised 29 June 2006) mandates nine years of education for all children regardless of gender, race, religious belief and material wealth. However, the government’s allocation of funding for education is based on the number of school age children of local residents – and as such local governments have no absolute obligation to educate migrant children. Despite numerous attempts to make urban education more accessible, it can still be incredibly difficult and prohibitively expensive for migrant workers to find decent schools for their children. A national survey in the mid-2000s showed that average educational expenditure for migrant children was 2,450 yuan per head per year, accounting for about 20 percent of total family income,[59] [60] with the cost in some coastal cities being even higher. In Shenzhen, migrant children have to pay on average three times as much as local students in state primary schools.[61] [62]

Article 11 of the Compulsory Education Law stipulates that children should attend school when they reach six years of age, although enrollment can, in difficult circumstances, be deferred until the age of seven. However, about half of all migrant children enrolled in school one or even two years after the usual admittance age, and about six percent of all migrant children have never attended school.[63]

The China National Institute for Educational Research has shown that migrant children tend to have a high drop out rate, low attendance rates and a low graduation rate.[64] [65] The attendance rate of migrant children in Beijing in 1995 was only 12.5 percent, and although this has improved to nearly 90 percent over the last decade, the attendance rate of migrant children is still well below that of their urban counterparts.[66] According to a survey of migrant children in the Pearl River Delta, the attendance rate of migrant children in primary schools was 91.7 percent compared with 99.8 percent of urban local children. And it dropped to just 75 percent in middle schools (compared with 99.9 percent of urban local children).[67]

In 2005, China National Radio (CNR) interviewed two migrant workers, both of whom had to take their children out of school because of exorbitant costs. Mr Shi moved to Shenyang, the provincial capital of Liaoning in 2003, and found work as a delivery driver. He worked every day from dawn to dusk to provide for his wife who could not work because of health problems, and their two children. The boy attended a local state-run primary school but had to pay 200 yuan more than local students each semester. The daughter dropped out after graduating from primary school because of the increased financial burden. Likewise, in the central city of Hefei, CNR interviewed Mr Zhang, who had taken his daughter out of a state-run primary school because he could not afford the school fees. He earned about 30 yuan a day working on construction sites, and would have had to pay several thousand yuan each year for his eight-year-old son to study at a city centre primary school.[68]

The cost of getting more migrant children into state schools

In an attempt to get more migrant children into state schools, in the mid-1990s, the central government allowed urban schools to collect fees that would cover the cost of providing additional resources. However these fees placed an intolerable burden on migrant workers,[69] most of whom earned less than their urban counterparts, and many of whom, as we have seen from the above two examples, had more than one child to support.[70] [71]

The 1996 (Trial) Measures for the Schooling of Children and Young People in the Migrant Population, and the 1998 Provisional Measures for the Schooling of Migrant Children and Young People urged municipalities to accept migrant children aged between six and 14 to study in full time state-run and privately run schools under the status of temporary students. However, it also stressed that the main responsibility for education should remain with the out-flowing areas. Only children who did not have a guardian in their place of permanent residence could study in other localities. As migrant children are not included in the local budgetary educational expenditure, schools were allowed to collect temporary student fees (jie du fei借读费), within limits set by the local government, to cover their expenses. However, the government limits rarely covered the additional costs incurred by schools. As a result many urban schools were extremely reluctant to admit migrant children. For example, the annual cost for a primary school student in Nanjing in 2003 was 1,500 yuan. However, the Nanjing municipal government set a ceiling of 480 yuan for temporary student fees. In other words, to recruit one migrant student, the school would have to pay about 1,000 yuan.[72] Very often, schools would collect additional fees to make up the shortfall. In 1999, in addition to the 300 to 400 yuan in miscellaneous fees paid by the local students each term in Beijing, migrant parents had to pay a 480-yuan temporary student fee, a 2,000-yuan education compensation payment (教育补偿费, jiaoyu buchang fei) and a one-off 1,000-yuan school selection fee (择校费, ze xiao fei). Prestigious state schools can demand over 10,000 yuan, and some as high as 230,000 yuan in school selection fees from parents.[73]

The 2001 Decision of the State Council on the Development of Elementary Education and the 2003 Decision of the State Council on Further Strengthening Rural Education switched the responsibility for providing education to migrant children from the out-flowing rural areas to the receiving cities, with the focus on education within the state school system. The 2003 Decision stated that local governments should provide migrant children with the same rights as local students, and migrant students should not pay more than local students in order to receive a proper education. Furthermore, in order to curb the malpractice of arbitrary fee collection, the central government in 2004, implemented a nationwide “one-fee system,” under which schools could only collect miscellaneous fees under one title and only once a semester.[74]

In the early 2000s, local governments started to abolish temporary student fees and to inject more money into the state school system in order to accommodate migrant children.[75] In 2003, the Hefei municipal government designated 29 schools for migrant children and invested 20 million yuan to improve teaching facilities; and by 2005, the number of designated schools had increased to 32.[76] Beijing and Shanghai had accepted 270,000 and 400,000 migrant students respectively by 2006, bringing migrant student attendance rates (when private schools were included) to about 90 percent.[77] By 2008, the Henan government had invested 18 million yuan to upgrade 24 primary and secondary schools, and had accommodated 83 percent of migrant children in state-run schools.[78] In the mid-2000s, a national survey found that more than 70 percent of children were able to study in state-run schools.[79] [80]

However, these policies put tremendous pressure on local governments with a high concentration of migrant workers. After the Zhengzhou municipal government abolished temporary student fees in 2006, the average class size in one district increased in one year to 72 students, and in some schools the class size exceeded 100. It was estimated that in the five years after 2006, Zhengzhou would have a shortfall of 74 primary and secondary schools. Yet, the city’s budgetary provision for education was still below three percent of the GDP.[81] In 2008, there were 430,000 migrant children in Guangzhou in 2008,[82] about two-thirds of whom were studying in privately-run schools.[83] In order to reach its target of accommodating at least 50 percent of migrant children in state-run schools, it was estimated that the Guangzhou government would need to raise 137 million yuan, with the number of migrant children increasing all the time.[84] The 2003 Decision states that local governments should provide assistance to privately-run schools. However, by 2004, only eight out of 109 privately-run schools in Guangzhou had obtained governmental subsidies, ranging from just a few hundred yuan to at most 450,000 yuan.[85]

Resistance to reforms

In order to minimize the potential influx of migrant children, many local governments, especially in coastal cities, delayed the implementation of, or limited the number of children eligible to benefit from central government policies designed to make education more accessible.[86] Collection of assorted fees remains commonplace, and even now, cities such as Xiamen,[87] Shanghai[88] and Guangzhou[89] apply strict criteria for temporary student fee waivers. For example, Guangzhou abolished temporary student fees in 2006, but restricted the benefits to the children of overseas Chinese, revolutionary martyrs, legally adopted orphans, etc. Only in 2008 did Guangzhou lift restrictions to allow children whose parents had obtained temporary residence for three years, to receive free education in the state system. Migrant children whose parents had made great contributions to Guangzhou, and had paid higher taxes, would be considered more favorably, and children of permanent residents would be given priority.[90] Shanghai basically only allows migrant children whose parents have obtained a hukou through the talents and investment scheme (blue stamp hukou) or if either parent is a permanent resident of Shanghai, to enjoy the same rights as local students.[91] Tangxia township in Dongguan abolished temporary student fees but limited the policy to migrant workers who had been working in Tangxia for five years.[92] In some cities only children born within the state family planning quota were eligible.[93] In September 2007, Shanghai’s Huangpu district announced that only children who: 1) were under 16 years of age; 2) were the only child in the family; 3) had no guardian in their place of permanent residence, and 4) whose parents had a temporary hukou for at least one year, would be eligible for a temporary student fee waiver.[94]

In order to qualify for fee waivers, parents need to provide numerous documents, including a temporary hukou certificate, labour contract, property deed, rental agreement, child vaccination certificates, etc.[95] However, many migrant workers are not registered because of the complicated procedures and high cost of the process (See Migrant Workers in China). Similarly, few migrant children are registered with the local governments. In Changzhou, a city in the Yangtze Delta, where migrants comprise more than one-third of the overall population, only 20 percent of migrant children benefited from more inclusive educational policies.[96]

Even those migrant workers who had been resident in their host cities for many years still encountered problems getting their children into decent state schools.

Mr Zhang came to Guangdong from Hunan 10 years ago and now earns 1,800 yuan a month as a manager. As he was not very confident of the academic standard of schools for migrant children, he decided to send his son to a state-run school. One day, Mr Zhang went to a nearby primary school to enquire about the admission procedures.

A teacher told him, “We only have a few migrant students here, and the tuition fee is high.” He was then asked to present a temporary student certificate, a local property deed or a government approved rental agreement before he could officially apply. When the school authority realized that he might have difficulties in getting these documents, they suggested he take his son back to his hometown.

But Mr Zhang did not give up and went to a school near his work place. A notice at the entrance said: “to apply for admittance, a student should have the following documents: temporary student card, identity card, household registration card, and work permit of the parents. Local students should pay 350 yuan in advance, and migrant children 470 yuan. Admission is based on merit...” …A school employee specifically told him that they set a stricter admission standard in order to control the number of migrant students.[97]

China's educational system is highly competitive and examination oriented. Schools are desperate to maintain their academic standards because prestigious schools can demand higher selection fees and donations. As migrant children are usually seen as academically inferior, they are most commonly assigned to mediocre or poor quality schools,[98] and denied access to schools of a higher standard.[99]

Many older privately-run schools for migrant children were housed in converted factories that did not meet even basic safety standards and did not have a qualified teaching staff.[100] These schools paid poorly and usually did not provide social insurance to staff as in the state sector. As such often had a high staff turnover; a class could have as many as seven different teachers in one semester.[101] The poor infrastructure and teaching conditions of these schools were reflected in the students' academic performance. A survey of privately-run schools in Guangzhou showed that only 27 percent of students in migrant schools reached the required academic standard. The proportion of students who performed well ranged from 42 percent to 64 percent in schools for migrant children compared with 71 percent to 91 percent in state-run schools.

Many privately-run schools nowadays do offer good facilities and dedicated teaching staff (see documentary on migrant children school in Shanghai) but there are many others more interested in profit than education, and these schools can become a breeding ground for tension and violence, as one head teacher revealed:

There is one school that recruits students all year round. Every day, they go to the markets, sieve through streets and alleys, give away leaflets to recruit students… As long as you pay, you are able to study in this school… the Education Bureau set the qualifying score for taking the university entrance examination at 250 marks. There are 14 students in this school who do not meet this standard. Not only can they not take the national university entrance examination, they will not even be given a high school graduation certificate. But parents are not aware of it, and they are still paying ten to twenty thousand yuan a year to the school…This school also fakes the result of their students… If only one student gets a good grade, other students in the class will be given good marks… Students form many gangs in school. Bullying, fighting and extortion are common among students…[102]

In the state sector, fees have increased sharply over the last few years. In 2006, the average annual fees for a student in a regular state-run school in Guangzhou amounted to 3,117 yuan.[103] However, one state-run primary school in a migrant area of Guangzhou asked for temporary student fees of 30,000 yuan, a ten-fold increase over the previous year.[104] According to the Survey on the cost of raising a child in China published in 2005, a primary school student in Shanghai had to pay as much as 5,000 yuan, and a middle school student 12,000 yuan in various fees every year, in addition to the one-off payment of a school selection fee.[105] [106] Between 2003 and 2005, the school selection fee in Guangzhou provincial grade middle schools was between 30,000 and 60,000 yuan.[107] Local governments continue to issue circulars criticizing schools that abolish tuition fees, while collecting fees under other names such as nutrition fee, pure water fee, uniform fee, and fees for supplementary classes and extra circular activities.[108]

A final insurmountable hurdle

Fees for high school and university are even higher than for middle school and as a result it is estimated that only one third of migrant children who graduate from middle school go onto high school, compared with 95 percent of urban children.[109] [110] A survey of migrant children in nine cities by the National Bureau of Statistics and the State Council's National Working Committee on Children and Women, showed that while the overall attendance rate of migrant children aged between seven and 17 years was 90 percent, only 40 percent of migrant children aged between 16 and 17 years were in school. Moreover, it is estimated that 78 percent of parents of migrant children did not attend high school or beyond,[111] As such they are unlikely to be able to help their children with the rigorous academic school work required for higher education, nor can they afford supplementary classes for their children.

And even if migrant worker families can afford the additional costs of higher education, and their children do well enough at school to take the university entrance examination, they still face another almost insurmountable barrier. According to the 2008 Working Regulations for the Enrollment of Regular High School Students, all candidates have to take the university entrance examination in their place of permanent residence. As such, most students are forced to return home to study in high school. However, as different school districts have different syllabuses, migrant children are at a distinctive disadvantage.[112] [113] Many students who return home rapidly get disillusioned, as the head of the Shanghai Joint Working Committee on Migrant Workers, Zhao Jiande, said: “Many migrant children go back to their place of permanent residence with the intention to study high school, but few in fact continue with their studies. Many simply stay at home.”[114] Because these children have been living in the cities for large parts of their lives, the sudden change of environment creates enormous stress.[115]

Although some cities, such as Wuhan and Wuxi, do allow migrant children to study high school, they still have to go back to their place of permanent residence to take the university entrance examination. However, some districts will not allow returning students to take the university entrance examination because only those registered in the school district are eligible.[116]

The number of new students enrolled in higher education doubled from 2,200,000 in 2000 to 5,460,000 in 2006.[117] And while the overall enrollment rates of 18- to 22-year-olds in higher education expanded from only 10.5 percent in 2000, to 20 percent in 2005,[118] the proportion of rural students in tertiary education has declined. [119]


Social and cultural marginalization

Geographical segregation

A 2006 survey by the China Youth Research Centre showed that 69 percent of migrant children lived in migrant enclaves,[120] usually located on the outskirts of the city, in which the ratio of migrants to local residents could be as high as twenty to one.[121] The same survey found that 78 percent of migrant children lived in rented accommodation, and that only 17.2 percent of migrants owned their own apartment, while in other studies, the proportion of rented accommodation was as high as 93 percent.[122] A study of 3,872 children living in Hangzhou found that about 85.5 percent of city children had their own room compared with only 25.6 percent of migrant children.[123] The China Youth Research Centre found that 41 percent of migrant children said they disliked their living environment.[124]

According to a study by the State Council’s Working Committee on Children and Women on migrant children in nine cities, 60 percent of migrant families did not have a refrigerator, 63 percent had no washing machine, and 93 percent did not have a computer, whereas almost all local families had a refrigerator, television and a washing machine, and 13 percent of local families had a computer.[125] A survey in Guangdong found there were 164 television sets per 100 urban households, compared with only 35 per 100 migrant families. And 61 percent of urban households had internet access, compared with 11 percent of migrant families.[126]

Living in migrant enclaves far from the centre of the city makes social integration difficult, and limits the chances for children of different backgrounds to meet. When migrant children do mix with urban residents they are often looked down on and belittled. A 12 year-old boy named Zhao who arrived in Hangzhou when he was eight, and lives with his parents in a small attic room said: “Sometimes, I am made to feel very inferior. People look down on us. City people are very bossy, and I am afraid of having any contact with them.”[127]

Another boy studying in a migrant children’s school in Shanghai wrote: “The standard of living of local children and children from other places is miles apart. They eat much better than us; they live in apartments with a proper address; they go to proper schools. We… we eat much worse than they do; live in small houses; study in migrant schools. These local Shanghaiese look down on us people from other provinces, I will make them look up to us one day.”[128]

Segregation in schools

Until recently, even if rural migrant children could get into urban state schools, they were not treated as integral members of the school. They could not take part in extracurricular activities or join social organizations, such as Young Pioneers. Neither could they be nominated as “outstanding students’ (三好学生, sanhao xuesheng, good in academic work, character, and physical ability).[129] This sent a clear signal to these children that they were inferior and outsiders. It was only in the early 2000s that Beijing started to encourage local governments to recruit migrant children into the Communist Youth League. However, little actual improvement has been seen, partly because financial difficulties have limited the ability of migrant children to participate in social activities. According to the survey by the China Youth Research Centre in 2006, only 34 percent of migrant workers joined supplementary classes and interest groups compared with 63 percent of local children.

Discrimination in the state school system is common. A study in Changzhou found that a third of migrant children studying in state-run schools claimed they were often or sometimes mocked or teased.[130] In Beijing, 33.7 percent of migrant children said they were not accepted by locals, and 40 percent claimed they were discriminated against. In some studies, the proportion of those suffering from discrimination could reach as high as 76 percent.[131]

The following accounts show how two local students saw their migrant children classmates:

There is a student in our class who comes from Anhui province. Most of us eat the lunch arranged by our school which only costs about three yuan a day. However, this student only eats rice buns. We asked him why he did not eat the lunch prepared by the school. He said he likes eating buns. In fact, the actual reason is that he does not have enough money for the school lunch.

A primary school student wrote:

There is a boy from the countryside in our class. He wears dirty clothes and his face is black, as if he has not washed it properly. He does not like talking, does not have any friends, and performs poorly in school. He always fails examinations; I don’t know whether or not he pays attention.[132]

Pressure from local parents can even force the authorities to scrap plans for greater school integration. Since 1999, migrant children in Wuhan have been allowed to study only in designated schools. But when some schools tried to bring migrant children into local children’s class, local parents claimed their children’s studies would suffer and the plan was abandoned.[133] One Wuhan headmaster said it was not only the migrant children who suffered, the teachers who were assigned to them also felt discriminated against:

Segregated classes are not healthy for migrant children. It damages their self-confidence and hinders their integration into school life. Besides, it also creates psychological burden for teachers who are teaching migrant children. Some will be discriminated against by other teachers.[134]

The relationship between migrant children and their teachers is problematic. A study entitled “Social adaptability of the children of migrant workers to city life” by the China Youth Research Center showed that a higher percentage of migrant students agreed with the following statements than local students: “teachers don’t understand me,” “teachers seldom pay attention to me,” “head teachers don’t like me,” and “I am not satisfied with the teacher-student relationship.”[135]

Because of their long working hours and poor educational background, few migrant workers are able to help their children with their schoolwork.[136] In a Guangdong survey, only 23.9 percent of parents claimed they regularly contacted their children’s schools, compared with 82 percent of urban parents.[137] And if they discovered that their children did not perform as well as they thought, they would blame their children – creating family tension.[138] A study on the adaptability of children to school life (455 migrant children and 444 local children) in northeastern China found that migrant children had lower scores in self-acceptance, teacher-student interaction and academic performance than local children.[139]

Social divisions

Economic and social segregation have created and enforced stereotypes among migrant and local children. A survey of migrant children in Beijing revealed the “us” and “them” attitudes of migrant children. Urban residents were usually seen as richer, better dressed, more knowledgeable and speaking better Chinese than migrants. However they were also seen as disrespectful, impolite, lazy and living off the hard work of migrants.[140] While a survey in Guangdong found that 58 percent of students in migrant schools did not like or even hated local children, 26 percent said they disliked locals because they were bullies, and 37 percent said city children looked down on them.[141] Half of the migrant children played only with other migrant children.[142] A study on Beijing migrant children found that 40 percent did not have local friends and 33.7 percent did not want to have local friends because they said they were arrogant, looked down on outsiders, were spoilt and were careless with money.[143] The study by the China Youth Research Center on the adaptability of migrant children to city life found that only one third of migrant children were good friends with city children, about eight percent of migrant parents did not want their children to be friends with local children, that 10 percent of city parents did not want their children to have migrant children friends and also that 13 percent of city children claimed they did not know how to be friends with migrant children and 20 percent of migrant children claimed they did not know how to make friends with city children.[144]

Because their parents have to work long hours, migrant children receive little emotional support and often have to rely on themselves. According to the China Youth Research Center’s 2006 survey, about 85 percent of migrant children had to do regular household chores and many of them were not able to go out to celebrate festivals or birthdays.[145] As these children did not have the money to take part in after-class activities, their daily activities were limited to their homes and local neighborhood, such as watching television (88 percent); reading (68 percent), sports (67 percent); playing with children next door (60 percent), playing alone or with siblings (60 percent) and playing in parks (54 percent). Lacking proper supervision, migrant children were 14 times more likely to be killed or injured in a traffic accident.[146]

According to a Guangdong survey, migrant workers did not put much emphasis on communication and the personal development of their children: 72 percent of them regarded provision of material needs as their most important task followed by the academic performance (47 percent) and conduct (43 percent) of their children. However, 62 percent of local parents regarded fostering good personal development as the most important part of parenting.[147]

Social discrimination, relative deprivation and little parental support, makes it difficult for children to adjust to city life. A 14-year-old boy who came to Hangzhou when he was ten years old said:

I come from a rural area. Now I am living in a city, but I am not living a city life. What am I – a half city-dweller and a half peasant? My parents are busy working and they do not pay much attention to me. Many times, I feel very lonely.

Teachers only come to my home to tell my parents about my bad behavior. This is no use. My parents simply do not have time to care about me... Most of the time, they stay in a dormitory. Otherwise, they come home late and go out early. I usually only see them a few times in a month. And when I do see them they just nag me about my performance in school or lecture me about other stuff, like I were a three year old.

When I feel lonely, I watch TV, or wander around the neighborhood, or go to internet bars. I feel better when my parents are not at home. Local children are very lucky; they eat well, live well and wear Nike and Adidas. They look down on us. It is difficult for us to make friends with them.[148]

In the China Youth Research Center study on social adaptability, the large majority of migrant children in Beijing (88 percent) said they did not regard themselves as Beijingers and more than one tenth (11.2 percent) felt they neither belonged to Beijing nor to their home towns.[149]

Like left-behind children, migrant children are more likely to have negative emotions and lower self esteem. One survey found that 63 percent of migrant children believed they were a useful person compared with 80.9 percent of locals; only 60.3 percent had confidence in their abilities compared with 84.9 percent of locals; and only about 70 percent of migrant children felt happy about their lives, compared with more than 85 percent of city children.[150] Many studies found that migrant children were more prone to anxiety over study and their social issues. They were more vulnerable to self blame, more likely to develop psychosomatic symptoms, be over sensitive, fearful and impulsive.[151] [152] Migrant children studying in state-run schools, followed by those in migrant schools, had significantly higher scores in mal-adaptation, depression, hostility, social problems and loneliness than local children. This suggested that direct contacts with local children generated more pressure for migrant children.[153] [154]

Juvenile delinquents and victims of crime

The second generation of migrants is different from the older generation in that they do not have roots in the city, or in the countryside. They can’t blend into the city nor can they go back to the countryside.

A research officer at the Shanghai Juvenile Reform Center.[155]

In 2005, the juvenile court in Haidian district, Beijing, recorded a criminal offence rate for migrant children three times higher than that for local children.[156] In both Shenzhen and Dongguan, about 86 percent of the overall population are migrants.[157] However, 99 percent of juvenile delinquents in Shenzhen are migrant children (85 percent originated from other provinces, 14 percent from other parts of Guangdong). Similarly, in Dongguan, 95 percent of juvenile delinquents were migrant children, and the delinquency rate has increased by five times in the two years from 2002 to 2004.[158] In Xiamen, the proportion of migrant juvenile delinquents doubled from 22 percent of all young offenders to 57 percent from 2004 to 2006.[159]

According to the Shanghai Reform Centre, in 2000, four in ten juvenile delinquents were migrant children. However in 2005, the number increased to seven out of ten. Crimes included homicides, assaults and rape. These children had been living in Shanghai for an average of 6.5 years, and their parents had been in Shanghai on average for 10.2 years.

Domestic violence seems to be an important factor in juvenile delinquency cases. Liu Ming, an 18-year-old from Jiangsu lived with his poorly educated father in Shanghai, and was frequently subject to corporal punishment. On one occasion, Liu’s father knocked out his front teeth. Feeling misunderstood and alienated, Liu started to take drugs and was eventually sentenced to four years in prison for theft.[160]

A survey of more than 3,000 students in Beijing found that the proportion of migrant children being scolded or beaten was higher than local children. Moreover, they were more likely to engage in activities that endangered their health, such as drinking, smoking, and ignoring traffic regulations.[161]

An academic at Shanghai University claims that the second generation of migrants is more sensitive to inequality and discrimination because, while their parents usually compared their life in the city with that back home, the second generation was more inclined to compare their living standards with those of urban families.[162]

Without effective care and support, migrant children can more easily become the victims of crime. A professor of the Public Security Bureau University listed six risk factors of child abduction in Beijing: 1) living in areas with a high concentration of migrants; 2) children below three years old; 3) parents working in the service industry; 4) children without regular care; 5) migrant worker parents; 6) living outside the third ring road – where most migrant enclaves are located in Beijing.[163]

As more and more locals move away from migrant districts, the administrative network has begun to break down in some districts and a social welfare vacuum has been created. Between 2000 and 2004, as many as 325 children went missing in Kunming, Yunnan province. Only two of them were local children. Of those missing, 319 came from two outlying districts with a high concentration of migrants. Unlike local children, fewer than half the number of these migrant children were under the care of a nursery or kindergarten.[164]

 

  1. Ren Yunxia任云霞 and Zhang Bomei张柏梅 (2006). “社会排斥与流动儿童的城市适应研究” (A study of social exclusion and the adaptability of migrant children to city life), 山西青年管理干部学院学 (Shanxi Youth Managerial College Studies) 19 (2).
  2. Zou Hong 邹泓, Qu Zhiqiong屈智勇 and Zhang Qiuling张秋凌 (2005) “中国九城市流动儿童发展与需求 (The development and needs of migrant children in nine Chinese cities), 青年研究, (Youth Studies) 2. 
  3. 河南省一年为农民工子女免去借读费超过1亿元(Henan waives more than 100 million yuan in temporary student fees for migrant children), 新华社 (Xinhua News Agency), 26 November 2006.
  4. Liu Xiaobing 刘晓兵, Li Shuzhuo李树茁 and Zhang Yexia张烨霞 (2007) “中国流动儿童出生登记的探索性研究” (An exploratory study on the registration of migrant children births), 市场与人口分析 (Market and Demographic Analysis) 13 (1) p. 49-55
  5. “中华人民共和国居民身份证法” (Law of the People’s Republic of China on Residents’ Identity Cards), promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on 28 June 2003.
  6. UNICEF, in collaboration with the Office of the State Council’s Women and Children’s Committee, started to promote the registration of migrant children below 16 years old in 2006 in Beijing, Wuxi in Jiangsu, and Shijiazhuang in Hebei. 登记制度让中国流动儿童不再是城市’隐形人’” (Registration system will mean migrant children are no longer the city’s “invisible children”),新华网 (Xinhua Net)    21 March 2008.
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  9. Ibid.
  10. China Youth Research Centre (2008), 中国未成年人数据手册(China's Children and Juveniles Statistical Handbook), Beijing: Science Press, p.228.
  11. Ibid,p.227.
  12. Marilyn Beach, “China’s rural health care gradually worsens,” The Lancet, No. 358 (1997), pp. 567–68;
  13. Gao, J., Tang,;S.; Tolhurst, R. and Rao, K. (2001). “Changing access to health services in urban China: implications for equity,” Health Policy and Planning 16(3):302–312.
  14. Yip, W. and Hsiao, W (2008). “The Chinese health System at a Crossroads”, Health Affairs27 (2):460-468.
  15. 社科院發2007藍皮書看病難看病貴居社會問題首位(China’s Academy of Social Sciences 2007Blue Book shows that expensive and inaccessible healthcare is the most pressing concern for ordinary Chinese people), 日新京報(The Beijing News), 26 December 2006.
  16. 广州卫生局副局长说中国看病最不贵遭绝大多数人质疑” (The overwhelming majority of people question the assertion of the deputy head of the Guangzhou Health Department that healthcare in China is not expensive), 羊城晚報 (Yangcheng Evening News) 20 February 2008.
  17. 长沙看病” (Seeing a doctor in Changsha is excessively expensive!) 长沙妈妈宝宝网(Changsha mothers and babies network), 16 June 2008, Iyaya.com discussion group.
  18. 医院发文让医生开贵药 感冒学生入治后死亡(Hospital orders doctors to prescribe expensive medicines. Student with a cold dies after treatment), 文汇报 (Wenweipo), 6 December 2007.
  19. United Nations Human Development Reports, 2007/2008
  20. Ministry of Health, PRC, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA (2006) Joint Review of the Maternal and Child Survival Strategy in China, p. 49.
  21. 从7月1日开始生育保险规定持居住证生育费可报” (From 1 July residence card holders will be entitled to maternal insurance) 39健康网 (39 HeathNet) 2 June 2005.
  22. 天津市城镇职工生育保险规定” (Tianjin Urban Employees’ Maternal Insurance Regulations), 16 August 2005.
  23. 社保高门槛让农民工望而却步 医保参保率仅10%(The high cost of social insurance is prohibitive for migrant workers – the take-up rate for health insurance is only 10 percent), 山东泰山网 (Shandong Taishan Net), 20 December 2007.
  24. 流动儿童的健康状况堪忧 (The poor health of migrant children is worrying), 新华网 (XinhuaNet), 17 January 2005.
  25. 从7月1日开始生育保险规定持居住证生育费可报” (From 1 July residence card holders will be entitled to maternal insurance), 39健康网 (39 HeathNet), 2 June 2005.
  26. 低保孕妇分娩全免费政策将在福田区出台” (Women on social security will be eligible for free birth services in a new policy to be implemented in Futian district (Shenzhen)), 本地宝新闻 (Local Treasure News), 20 September 2007.
  27. Gao Yanqiu高燕秋, An Lin 安琳 and Guo Chunhui郭春暉 (2006). “流動人口婦幼保健服務利用及服務提供模式的定性研究” (A qualitative study of the provision method and utilization of maternal and child healthcare services by the migrant population), 中国妇幼保建(Maternal and Child Healthcare in China), 21: 1022-1025.
  28. Lu Shuiling 卢水灵 (2005) “東莞市流動兒童保健現狀及對策” (The current healthcare conditions of migrant children in Dongguan and measures to address them), 南方護理學報 (Nanfang Journal of Nursing), 12 (7): 59-60.
  29. Gao Yanqiu高燕秋, An Lin 安琳 and Guo, Chunhui郭春暉 (2006). “流動人口婦幼保健服務利用及服務提供模式的定性研究” (A qualitative study of the provision method and utilization of maternal and child healthcare services by the migrant population), 中国妇幼保建(Maternal and Child Healthcare in China), 21: 1022-1025.
  30. Ibid.
  31. Lu Shuiling卢水灵 (2005)“東莞市流動兒童保健現狀及對策”(The current healthcare conditions of migrant children in Dongguan and measures to address them), 南方護理學報 (Nanfang Journal of Nursing) 12 (7): 59-60.
  32. Wu Liping吴莉萍 (2006). “流动人口孕产妇保健服务状况分析与对策” (An analysis of and prescription for maternal healthcare for the migrant population), 中国妇幼保健(China Maternal and Child Care), 21:1172-1173.
  33. Ibid.
  34. 北京市流动人口孕产妇死亡率降至历史新低” (Maternal death rates for the migrant population in Beijing hit an all time low), 中国人口信息网  (China Population News Net), 28 March 2008.
  35. 民工:黑诊所关了,我到哪看病外来工医疗保障缺失” (Unlicensed clinics for migrant workers have been closed. Where can I go for treatment? The system is deficient), 恩施新闻网
  36. (Enshi News Net).
  37. 宁波市儿童保健管理常规 (Ningbo Municipal Child Healthcare Management Convention), 25 July 2008.
  38. United Nations Human Development Reports, 2007/2008
  39. Ministry of Health, PRC, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA (2006) Joint Review of the Maternal and Child Survival Strategy in China, p. 50.
  40. 仨社区流动儿童享免费体检” (Migrant children in three districts get free medical checks), 河北青年报 (Hebei Youth Daily), 24 November 2007
  41. Lu Shuiling卢水灵 (2005) “東莞市流動兒童保健現狀及對策”(The current healthcare conditions of migrant children in Dongguan and measures to address them), 南方護理學報 (Nanfang Journal of Nursing), 12 (7): 59-60.
  42. Zhu Xin朱新 and Yang Cunying杨俊莹 (2006). “流动人口儿童保健管理模式初探” (An exploratory study on the health care services of migrant children).中国妇幼保建 (Maternal and child healthcare in China), 21:1178-1179.
  43. Zhang Jing张晶, Ma Jin马进, Fang Binghua方秉华, Yao Guoying姚国英, and Wei, Mei魏梅 (2007) “0~3岁流动儿童保健状况调查” (An Investigation into the health of migrant children up to three years old), 中国妇幼保健(China Maternal and Child Care), 22 No.36 pp.5091-5094
  44. 民工:黑诊所关了,我到哪看病外来工医疗保障缺失” (Unlicensed clinics for migrant workers have been closed. Where can I go for treatment? The system is deficient), 恩施新闻网(Enshi News Net).Wang Ruiming王瑞明(2002). “福州市流动人口儿童保健现况调查” (A study of migrant children’s healthcare in Fuzhou), 中国公共卫生 (Public Health in China), 18(6): 724.
  45. 体检查出一串忧虑农民工子女需要更多的关爱” (Health checks reveal that migrant worker children need much more care), 齐鲁晚报 (Jilu Evening News) 9 June 2007.
  46. 仨社区流动儿童享免费体检” (Migrant children in three districts get free medical checks)
  47. Yuan Quanlian 袁全莲 (2000) “城市户口与流动户口儿童喂养方式与健康状况分析比较” (A comparative analysis of the health and nurturing of urban and migrant children), 中国儿童保健杂志 (China Child Health Magazine) 8 (1):pp.63-64.
  48. Zhu Xin朱新 and Yang Cunying杨俊莹 (2006). “流动人口儿童保健管理模式初探” (An exploratory study on the health care services of migrant children),中国妇幼保建 (Maternal and child healthcare in China) 21:1178-1179.
  49. Ibid.
  50. 有毒奶粉企業曾要政府管制媒體” (Tainted milk powder industry asks government to control media), BBCChinese.com, 1 October 2008
  51. “What can I feed my baby now, poor parents ask.” South China Morning Post, 18 September 2008.
  52. 上海:流动人口儿童将享受免费疫苗接种,” (Shanghai: Migrant children enjoy free vaccinations),    中央政府门户网站 (PRC Central Government Website), 26 April 2006
  53. 廣州查漏補種疫苗流動兒童也享受免費疫苗” (Guangzhou surveys unvaccinated children; migrant children enjoy free vaccinations), 南方日報 (Southern Daily) 28 April 2008
  54. 北京:流動兒童可免費接種15種疫苗(Beijing: Migrant children can get 15 free vaccinations)     2008年7月27日 中央政府網 (PRC Central Government Website) 27 July 2008.
  55. 煙台:提醒流動兒童可免費接種11種疫苗 (Yantai: Reminding migrant children they are entitled to 11 types of free vaccination), 29 July 2008.
  56. Ministry of Health, PRC, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, (2006). Joint Review of the Maternal and Child Survival Strategy in China, p. 49.
  57. Li Ronghan 李容汉, Zhao Qingguo赵庆国, Zhong, Xixia, 钟细霞, Deng Qundi邓群娣, and He Qiuyuan何秋苑 (2006). “广东省流动人口五岁以下儿童可避免死因的研究” (Preventable deaths of children below five years old in Guangdong’s migrant population). 国际医药卫生导报 (International Medicine & Health Leader) 12(03): 111-113.
  58. Ibid.
  59. 农民工子女在城里读书年均学费支出2450” (Average annual school fees for the children of migrant workers in the city is 2,450 yuan), 中央政府门户网站 (PRC Central Government Website), 24 October 2006.
  60. 國家統計局:農民工平均月收入966” ( National Bureau of Statistics: Migrant worker average monthly income is 966 yuan), 人民网 (People.com), 24 October 2006.
  61. 深圳义务教育将免费 34万外地生可免书杂费” (Shenzhen compulsory education will be free; 340,000 migrant students will be exempt from book and miscellaneous fees), 深圳新闻网
  62. (Shenzhen News Net), 10 April 2008.
  63. 深圳市宝安区新安街道办事处建安小学收费公示栏” (Jian’an primary school fees, displayed at Xin’an sub-district office in Shenzhen’s Baoan district), 25 December 2007.
  64. Zou, Hong 邹泓, Qu, Zhiqiong屈智勇, Zhang, Qiuling张秋凌 (2005) “中国九城市流动儿童发展与需求 (The development and needs of migrant children in nine Chinese cities), 青年研究, (Youth Studies) 2.
  65. Wu Ni 吴霓, Ding Jie丁杰, Deng Youchao邓友超, and Zhang Xiaohong 张晓红 (2004). “中国进城务工就业农民子女义务教育问题调研报告” (A survey on the education of the children of migrant workers), 科研与决策 (Research and policy) 5. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing), p. 67.
  66. Shi Bainian史柏年 (2002). “城市流動兒童少年就學問題政策分析” (A strategic analysis of the school attendance of migrant children), 中国青年政治学院学报 (Journal of China Youth Political Science College) 21(1):31-35.
  67. “教育部发展规划司:中国教育事业发展统计简况”.(Educational Development Department, Ministry of Education: A brief introduction to educational statistics in China). Quoted in Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children). 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing),p. 67-67.
  68. 新闻纵横:《农民工子女教育调查》之借读费” (Newsline: An investigation of migrant children’s education – temporary student fees),  中广网 (China National Radio), 21 March 2005.
  69. Wei Dengfeng魏登峰, Guo Anjie郭安杰 (2006) “谁在向吃奶娃收’择校费’” (Who is collecting school selection fees from babies?), 农村工作通讯 (Rural Work Bulletin) 12.
  70. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children). 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing), p.56.
  71. Pan Fang潘芳 (2006). “流动人口子女义务教育现状的调查研究 – 以江苏省常州市为例” (A survey on the current circumstances of compulsory education for migrant children – A case study of Changzhou), master’s thesis, Department of Educational Administration, East China Normal University.
  72. Zhu Xiaobin 朱晓斌 “流动人口子女义务教育政策的价值分析” (An analysis of compulsory education policies for migrant children), 教育评论 (Education Commentary).
  73. Kowk, J. (2006). “The integration of migrant children in Beijing schools”. In Postiglione, G. (ed). Education and Social Change in China. Armonk, New York; London, England: M.E. Sharpe, p. 170.
  74. 国务院办公厅转发教育部等部门关于2003年治理教育乱收费工作实施意见的通知  (Office of the State Council forwarded notice on the opinion of the education department and others on the curbing of arbitrary fee collection) 23 June 2003.
  75. 武漢市共免收農民工子女借讀費4400多萬元” (Wuhan waives more than 44 million yuan in temporary student fees for migrant workers’ children), 新華社(Xinhua), 30 November 2005.
  76. 关于“切实取消对农民工子女的‘借读费’”的答复” (Concerning the response [of the education bureau] to the cancellation of temporary student fees for the children of migrant workers), 合肥市政协网站 (Hefei Municipal Political Consultative Conference Website), 5 December 2007.
  77. 華建敏:切實加強農民工工作 認真解決民工問題” (NPC Vice-Chair, Hua Jianmin: Strive to improve our work for migrant workers. Earnestly resolve their problems), quoted during a national telephone conference on migrant workers on 7 September 2006.
  78. 河南农民工子女入学率达99%” (School attendance rate for migrant workers’ children in Henan reaches 99 percent), 农民日报 (Farmers’ Daily), 23 January 2008.
  79. 农民工子女在城里读书年均学费支出2450” (Average annual school fees for the children of migrant workers in the city are 2,450 yuan), 中央政府门户网站(PRC Central Government Website), 24 October 2006
  80.  “國家統計局:農民工平均月收入966” ( National Bureau of Statistics: Migrant worker average monthly income is 966 yuan), 人民网 (People.com), 24 October 2006.
  81. 郑州拟抬高农民工超生子女入学门槛惹争议 (Zhengzhou’s plan to bar migrant children born outside family planning quotas from state schools provokes backlash), 河南商报 (Henan Commercial Daily), 22 February 2008.
  82. 农民工在穗务工3年以上子女借读费将减免” (The children of migrant workers who have been working in Guangzhou for more than three years will be eligible for temporary student fee waivers),中国发展门户网 (Chinagate.com), 17 May 2008.
  83. 外来工子女拖欠学费普遍 民办学校因欠费倒闭” (It is common for migrant labourers to fall behind with school fees. As a result migrant schools close down), 广州日报 (Guangzhou Daily) 20 December 2006.
  84. 农民工在穗务工3年以上子女借读费将减免” (The children of migrant workers who have been working in Guangzhou for more than three years will be eligible for temporary student fee waivers),中国发展门户网 (Chinagate.com), 17 May 2008..
  85. 外来工子女拖欠学费普遍 民办学校因欠费倒闭” (It is common for migrant labourers to fall behind with school fees. As a result migrant schools close down), 广州日报 (Guangzhou Daily) 20 December 2006.
  86. Zhu Xiaobin 朱晓斌 “流动人口子女义务教育政策的价值分析” (An analysis of compulsory education policies for migrant children), 教育评论 (Education Commentary).
  87. 农民工子女免交借读费” (Temporary student fee waivers for migrant worker children), 厦门晚报(Xiamen Evening News), 13 January 2007.
  88. 上海:人才引进类居住证子女义务教育免借读费” (Shanghai: Talent scheme resident card holders’ children eligible for temporary student fee waivers), 上海青年报 (Shanghai Youth Daily), 5 August 2008.
  89. 广州将免除13类流动人员子女借读费” (13 categories of migrant worker children in Guangzhou will be eligible for temporary student fee waivers), 苏州健康网 (Suzhou Health Net), 3 March 2006.
  90. 廣州:流動人員辦暫住證子女有機會享義務教育”(Guangzhou: Temporary resident cardholders’ children have the opportunity to enjoy free compulsory education), 南方網 (Southern.Net), 25 July 2008.
  91. 上海:四類學生免收義務教育借讀費” (Shanghai: Four groups of students eligible for compulsory education temporary student fee waivers), 中央政府門戶網站 (PRC Central Government Website), 26 August 2008.
  92. 塘厦新莞人子女可免借读费(Migrant workers’ children in Tangxia, Dongguan, will be eligible for temporary student fee waivers), 南方都市报 (Southern Metropolis Daily), 19 March 2008.
  93.  郑州拟抬高农民工超生子女入学门槛惹争议 (Zhengzhou’s plan to bar migrant children born outside family planning quotas from state schools provokes backlash), 河南商报 (Henan Commercial Daily), 22 February 2008..
  94. 黄 浦 区 教 育 局, 务工就业农民子女办理减免借读费须知” (Huangpu District Education Department’s guidance notice on the waiving of temporary student fees for migrant workers), 4 September 2007.
  95. 关于进城务工子女接受义务教育免借读费实施案的通知” (Sha County Government notice regarding the waiving of compulsory education temporary student fees for the children of migrant workers ), 沙縣人民政府網 (Sha county website), 27 June 2008.
  96. Pan Fang潘芳 (2006). “流动人口子女义务教育现状的调查研究 – 以江苏省常州市为例” (A survey on the current circumstances of compulsory education for migrant children – A case study of Changzhou), master’s thesis, Department of Educational Administration, East China Normal University.
  97. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing),p.115-116.
  98. 2005年教育事业发展计划公布 热点问题问个明白” (Communique on the 2005 education development plan; understanding the key issues), 龙虎网 (Dragon Tiger Net), 4 January 2005.
  99. 借讀費為啥不買中南海的賬” (Why can’t we benefit from the central government’s policies on temporary student fees?),  東方網  (Eastday.com), 24 May 2006.
  100. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing), p.69.
  101. Ibid, p.78.
  102. Ibid, p.79.
  103. 外来工子女拖欠学费普遍 民办学校因欠费倒闭” (It is common for migrant labourers to fall behind with school fees. As a result migrant schools close down), 广州日报 (Guangzhou Daily) 20 December 2006.
  104. 广州省级小学借读费1年涨近10倍 教育局称合理 (Provincial grade primary school in Guangzhou increases temporary student fees ten-fold in one year – education department says it is reasonable), 新快报 (New Express), 25 May 2005.
  105. 中国孩子抚养成本调查” (An investigation into the cost of raising a child in China), 国际先驱导报(China Pioneer Leader), 23 March 2005.
  106. The school selection fee is an important source of income for schools. In Guangzhou, a provincial-grade senior high school can admit up to 25 percent of all students outside the basic recruitment criteria, and ordinary high schools up to 15 percent using this system. Between 2004 and 2006, Guangzhou had admitted 27,000 students into senior secondary schools through this channel. On average each student paid 20,000 yuan, totaling in all 540 million yuan. “廣州3年收擇1政協委員建議向社會公示” (Guangzhou collects 100 million yuan in school selection fees in three years. Political Consultative Conference committee member recommends publication of figures), 信息時報(Information Times), 2 February 2007.
  107. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing), p.69.
  108. 湖南教育系统灾后重建 杜绝“边免费边乱收费(Post-disaster reconstruction of the Hunan education system. Do away with waiving fees on one hand and collecting arbitrary fees on the other), 长沙晚报 (Changsha Evening News), 4 March 2008.
  109. “教育部发展规划司:中国教育事业发展统计简况”.(Educational Development Department, Ministry of Education: A brief introduction to educational statistics in China). Quoted in Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006), 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing),p. 67-67.
  110. Shi Bainian史柏年 (2002). “城市流動兒童少年就學問題政策分析” (A strategic analysis of the school attendance of migrant children), 中国青年政治学院学报 (Journal of China Youth Political Science College) 21(1):31-35.
  111. China Youth Research Centre (2008), 中国未成年人数据手册(China's Children and Juveniles Statistical Handbook). Beijing: Science Press, 229
  112. 农民工子女:我的高中在哪里?(Migrant worker children – Where is my high school?), 教育时报(Education Times), 11 March 2008.
  113. Pan Fang潘芳 (2006). “流动人口子女义务教育现状的调查研究 – 以江苏省常州市为例” (A survey on the current circumstances of compulsory education for migrant children – A case study of Changzhou), master’s thesis, Department of Educational Administration, East China Normal University.
  114. 农民工子女:我的高中在哪里?(Migrant worker children – Where is my high school?), 教育时报(Education Times), 11 March 2008.
  115. 農民工子女沒高中可讀,為什麼呢?” (Why can’t migrant workers’ children study high school?), 工人日報 (Workers’ Daily) 21 February 2008.
  116. 女孩在京求学因户口无法参加高考被迫留学” (A female student is forced to study abroad since she cannot take the university entrance exam because of her hukou status), 发展论坛 (Development Forum),6 April 2007.
  117. China Statistical Yearbook 2007, table 21-5.
  118. 中国宏观数据挖掘系统China Macroscopic Data Mining System.
  119. 數字教育--“4年學費等於35年純收入”” (Statistics show that four years’ school fees can amount to 35 years’ net income), 新華網 (Xinhua Net), 9 March 2005.
  120. 中国青少年研究中心(China Youth Research Centre) (2006), “进程务工农民子女的社会融入” (The adaptability of migrant children to urban life), quoted in China's Children and Juveniles Statistical Handbook, pp. 229-230.
  121. Huang Bangmei黄帮梅, Lu Huasong骆华松, LiJiangsu李江苏, and Zhao Xingling赵兴玲  (2008). “流动人口聚居区拐卖儿童现象, 产生的原因、社会影响与对策” (The problem of abduction of children in migrant enclaves: causes, social effect and remedies), 产业与科技论坛, (Industry and Science and technology forum) 7 (2) pp. 33-35.
  122. Ren Yunxia任云霞, Zhang Bomei张柏梅 (2006). “社会排斥与流动儿童的城市适应研究” (A study of social exclusion and the adaptability of migrant children to city life), 山西青年管理干部学院学 (Shanxi Youth Managerial College Studies) 19 (2):14-16.
  123. Yan Zheng 严征 (2006) 农民工子女健康和行为的比较研究 (A comparative study of migrant worker children’s health and behaviour), Phd thesis, Zhejiang University, p. 15.
  124. China Youth Research Centre (2008), 中国未成年人数据手册(China's Children and Juveniles Statistical Handbook). Beijing: Science Press, p.230.
  125. Zou Hong 邹泓, Qu Zhiqiong屈智勇, Zhang Qiuling张秋凌 (2005) “中国九城市流动儿童发展与需求 (The development and needs of migrant children in nine Chinese cities), 青年研究, (Youth Studies) 2.
  126. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing), p. 67
  127. 蒲公英”想要一个家 走近杭州流动儿童” (Dandelion wants a home. The story of a migrant child in Hangzhou), 钱江晚报 (Qianjiang Evening News), 19 April 2007.
  128. 农民工子女犯罪率上升, 难以融入城市致心理偏差” (The crime rate among the children of migrant workers is rising. Difficulty adapting to urban life leads to deviance), 瞭望新闻周刊(Outlook News Weekly), 17 October 2006.
  129. ChinaYouth Daily, 15 June 2001; BeijingYouth Daily, 6 August 2001. Quoted in Kowk, J. (2006). “The integration of migrant children in Beijing schools”. In Postiglione, G. (ed). Education and Social Change in China. Armonk, New York; London, England: M.E. Sharpe, p. 170.
  130. Pan Fang潘芳 (2006). “流动人口子女义务教育现状的调查研究 – 以江苏省常州市为例” (A survey on the current circumstances of compulsory education for migrant children – A case study of Changzhou), masters thesis, Department of Educational Administration, East China Normal University, p.25.
  131. Lei Yougaung雷有光 (2004) “都市"小村民"眼中的大世界--城市流动人口子女社会认知的调查研究” (The world through the eyes of urban villagers. An investigative study into the social cognition of migrant children in the cities.), 教育科学研究 (Educational Science Research) 6.
  132. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing), p.174.
  133. 武漢:欲試行農民工子女單獨編班惹爭議(Wuhan: Parents object to plans for migrant workers’ children only classes), 新華每日電訊 (Xinhua Daily Dispatch), 26 May 2006.
  134. Ibid.
  135. 课题报告显示:农民工子女学习状况喜忧参半(Research project shows that the children of migrant workers have both positive and negative responses to school),中国教育报 (China Education Daily), 24 January 2007.
  136. 農民工子女,七成感到生活幸福(Seven out of ten migrant children feel happy about life), 人民日報 (People’s Daily) 30 January 2007.
  137. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing),p.133
  138. 農民工子女,七成感到生活幸福(Seven out of ten migrant children feel happy about life), 人民日報 (People’s Daily) 30 January 2007.
  139. Guo Hong 郭 虹 (2005) “从“外来人口”到“流动人口” - 城市化中一个亟待转变的观念” (From outsider to migrant – the critical need for a conceptual change in the process of urbanization), 经济体制改革 (Systemic Economic Reform), 5. Quoted in Ren Yunxia任云霞, Zhang Bomei张柏梅 (2006). “社会排斥与流动儿童的城市适应研究” (A study of social exclusion and the adaptability of migrant children to city life), 山西青年管理干部学院学 (Shanxi Youth Managerial College Studies) 19 (2).
  140. Lei Yougaung雷有光 (2004) “都市"小村民"眼中的大世界--城市流动人口子女社会认知的调查研究” (The world through the eyes of urban villagers. An investigative study into the social cognition of migrant children in the cities.), 教育科学研究 (Educational Science Research) 6.
  141. Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing), p.76
  142. Guo Hong 郭 虹 (2005) “从“外来人口”到“流动人口” - 城市化中一个亟待转变的观念” (From outsider to migrant – the critical need for a conceptual change in the process of urbanization) 经济体制改革 (Systemic Economic Reform) 5.Quoted in Ren Yunxia任云霞, Zhang Bomei张柏梅 (2006). “社会排斥与流动儿童的城市适应研究” (A study of social exclusion and the adaptability of migrant children to city life), 山西青年管理干部学院学 (Shanxi Youth Managerial College Studies) 19 (2).
  143. Lei Yougaung雷有光 (2004) “都市"小村民"眼中的大世界--城市流动人口子女社会认知的调查研究” (The world through the eyes of urban villagers. An investigative study into the social cognition of migrant children in the cities), 教育科学研究 (Educational Science Research) 6.
  144. 课题报告显示:农民工子女学习状况喜忧参半”, (Research project shows that the children of migrant workers have both positive and negative responses to school), 中国教育报 (China Education Daily), 24 January 2007.
  145. 農民工子女,七成感到生活幸福(Seven out of ten migrant children feel happy about life), 人民日報 (People’s Daily), 30 January 2007.
  146. Li Ronghan 李容汉, Zhao Qingguo赵庆国, Zhong, Xixia, 钟细霞, Deng Qundi邓群娣, and He Qiuyuan何秋苑 (2006). “广东省流动人口五岁以下儿童可避免死因的研究” (Preventable deaths of children below five years old in Guangdong’s migrant population), 国际医药卫生导报 (International Medicine & Health Leader) 12(03): 111-113.
  147. 中国青少年研究中心 (China Youth Research Centre) (2008). 中国未成年人数据手册(China's Children and Juveniles Statistical Handbook). Beijing: Science Press, p, 231.
  148. 蒲公英”想要一个家 走近杭州流动儿童” (Dandelion wants a home. The story of a migrant child in Hangzhou), 钱江晚报 (Qianjiang Evening News), 19 April 2007.
  149. 北京农民工子女虽背井离乡 但七成感生活幸福” (In Beijing, the children of migrant workers are far from home, but seven out of ten are happy with life), 人民日报(People’s Daily), 30 January 2007.
  150. China Youth Research Centre (2008), 中国未成年人数据手册(China's Children and Juveniles Statistical Handbook). Beijing: Science Press, p.238.
  151. Guangzhou Education Association (2003): Selected Essays on the Findings of Educational Research, quoted in Shen Xiaoge沈小革 and Zhou Guoqiang周国强 (2006). 流动人口子女教育公平问题研究 (A study on the fairness of education for migrant children), 群众出版社 (Masses Publishing), p.167.
  152. Lin Zhi林芝 and Weng Yanyan 翁艳燕 (2004). “民工子弟学校初中生心理健康状况调查” (A survey of psychological health of middle school students in migrant schools), 中国儿童保健杂志, (China Child Health Magazine), 18(2):11; Yan Zheng 严征 (2006) 农民工子女健康和行为的比较研究 (A comparative study of migrant worker children health and behaviour), PhD thesis, Zhejiang University, p. 15).
  153. Qiu Daming邱达明, CaoDongyun曹东云, & Yang Huiwen杨慧文 (2008). 南昌市流动儿童心理健康状况的调查研究 (An investigative study of the psychological health of migrant children in Nanchang city), 中国健康教育 (Chinese Journal of Health Education) 24 (1): 33-37.
  154. Wang Wenzhong王文忠, Xu, Shasha徐莎莎,; Liu, Zhengkui刘正奎, et al. (2007) “流动儿童心理健康状况及其相关因素” (The Psychological Heath of migrant children and relevant factors), 中国行为医学科学 (Chinese Journal of Behavioral Medical Science), 16(7):265-267.
  155. 农民工子女犯罪率上升, 难以融入城市致心理偏差” (The crime rate among the children of migrant workers is rising. Difficulty adapting to urban life leads to deviance), 瞭望新闻周刊(Outlook News Weekly), 17 October 2006.
  156. 舆论:留守和流动儿童是全社会的伤痛” (Public opinion sees left-behind and migrant children as a source of anguish for society at large), 山西晚报 (Shanxi Evening News), 5 March 2008.
  157. 深圳明日將對500萬流動人口發放2萬張居住證” (Shenzhen will issue 20,000 residence cards to five million migrants tomorrow), 南方日報 (Southern Daily) 31 July 2008.
  158. Ying, Peili应培礼 and Zhun Hongmei 肫宏梅 (2007)“关于农民工第二代犯罪问题的若干思考” (Some thoughts on the criminality of the second generation of migrant workers), 青少年犯罪问题(Issues on Juvenile crime and delinquency) 5, pp.66-68.
  159. 同安法院调查报告:未成年人犯罪农民工子女占半” (Report by Tongan District Court shows that more than half of all juvenile crimes are committed by migrants), 海峡网(Straights Net), 24 April 2007.
  160. 农民工子女犯罪率上升, 难以融入城市致心理偏差” (The crime rate among the children of migrant workers is rising. Difficulty adapting to urban life leads to deviance), 瞭望新闻周刊(Outlook News Weekly), 17 October 2006.
  161. Zhai Lei 翟蕾 and Huang Na黄娜 “北京市海淀区流动儿童与本地儿童健康危险行为现状分析” (Analysis of the health risk behaviour of local and migrant children in Beijing’s Haidian district), 首席医学网 (Shouxi Medical Net), 19 August 2008.
  162. 农民工子女犯罪率上升, 难以融入城市致心理偏差” (The crime rate among the children of migrant workers is rising. Difficulty adapting to urban life leads to deviance), 瞭望新闻周刊(Outlook News Weekly), 17 October 2006.
  163. “京沪联动寻婴建立捐款账户 专家提供危险预警表” (Beijing and Shanghai combine to fund parents’ search for missing infants. Experts propose early warning system), 法制晚报(Legal Evening News) 8 April 2005.
  164. Huang Bangmei黄帮梅, Lu Huasong骆华松, Li Jiangsu李江苏, and Zhao Xingling赵兴玲  (2008). “流动人口聚居区拐卖儿童现象, 产生的原因、社会影响与对策” (The problem of abduction of children in migrant enclaves: causes, social effect and remedies), 产业与科技论坛, (Industry and Science and technology forum), 7 (2) pp. 33-35.