The Ministry of Civil Affairs (民政部), the Ministry of Education (教育部), and the Ministry of Public Security (公安部) are jointly conducting a general investigation on left-behind children, hoping to fully assess the scale of the problem, and the regions, lives, families, and education of the children who have been left behind by parents working away from home. The investigation will be carried out from now until the end of July in the whole country. As stated in the notice issued by the three ministries, each province should regularly release information about left-behind children, and an information database about the children will be set up according to the results of the investigation. The target of the investigation are those aged below sixteen and living without any eligible guardianship.
The investigation was launched in the context of a speech given by Premier Li, emphasizing that left-behind children should not be allowed to become a “pain for their families and a burden on the society” (“决不能让留守儿童成为家庭之痛社会之殇”). It also resonates with the document entitled “Opinions on Reinforcing the Efforts to Protect and Take Care of ‘Left-Behind’ Children in Rural Areas” (《关于加强农村留守儿童关爱保护工作的意见》) issued by China’s State Council. The ministries hope that the investigation will provide complete information about left-behind children and thus help improve the related protection and care policies and other efforts.