A newly-released report on China's "left-behind children" said that nearly one-third of rural students were left behind by their parents, with eight percent claiming that their parents' death had no effect on them.
More than half of rural children see their migrant worker parents less than twice a year, according to the Chinese Left-behind Children's Psychological Conditions White Paper sent to the Global Times on Monday by the On the Road to School, an NGO which provides financial and psychological help to left-behind children.
Left-behind children refers to rural children under the age of 16 whose parents are migrant workers, or who have one migrant-worker parent with the other incapable of guardianship, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), the Xinhua News Agency reported in November 2016.
In a sampling of 14,868 people from 17 provincial-level regions in China, 58.1 percent of rural students are left behind in their hometowns, with 26.1 percent left by both of their parents, according to the report.
The report estimated as many as 10 million rural students could have been left behind by both of their parents.
Among the students who said that their father or mother passed away recently, of which 7.9 percent of them said they were barely affected by the loss.
Experts from the NGO said the students were showing their dissatisfaction toward their parents.
"Being left behind could affect the children psychologically," said Zhao Hui, a lawyer and director of the Beijing Bar Association Committee on Child Protection.
According to an MCA official, a special campaign is being carried out to keep all rural left-behind children under guardianship by the end of 2017, The Beijing News reported on Monday.
If the left-behind children are not under any guardianship and their parents could not be reached, the children would be sent to other relatives or foster institutes for temporary care, the MCA said.
(Source: Global Times)