UNICEF welcomes State Council Guideline on the Protection of Left Behind Children

22 February 2016

Beijing, 22 February 2018 – UNICEF welcomes the new State Council Guidelines on Protection of Left Behind Children as a significant step forward in support to and protection of this vulnerable population of children. The Guidelines seek to reduce the number of children left behind in rural areas as a result of migration by their parents and improve the welfare and protection of the millions of children currently left behind. The guidelines outline clear responsibilities for families as well as local authorities to help ensure children are cared for and protected when parents migrate for employment.

With an estimated 4 out of every 10 children in China affected by internal migration, the impact of whether they stay behind in rural areas, or move to the cities with their parents in search of work and new opportunities, has created enormous challenges for their survival, development and protection.

Of the estimated 61 million rural children left-behind large numbers do not see their parents for a year and contact between them is limited.  Evidence has demonstrated that many of these children are struggling to cope without adequate care and support, often impacting badly on their health, their education and putting them at risk of violence and abuse.

“Every child has the right to grow up in a safe and protective environment, with the support and care of their family.  We have a collective responsibility to keep families together, to support parents to care appropriately for their children and ensure no matter where they live, children have what they need to develop to their full potential.”said Rana Flowers, UNICEF China Representative. “This commitment by the Government to address the specific challenges faced by children affected by migration is an important development and a timely one as efforts multiply to support more and more families move out of poverty . ”

The new guidelines, which acknowledge that care and protection of children are a shared responsibility, seek to put in place a system that involves families, local authorities, schools and communities. Specific aspects include: strengthening legal and institutional framework for the protection of minors; strengthening capacity development of professionals and parents to take care of their children; clarified responsibilities for identification and reporting of children at risk; establishing assistance and monitoring of a child's situation; and creating a safer environment for a child's development that involves the communities and schools.

"As part of UNICEF China co-operation with the Government of China, we remain committed to addressing the needs and vulnerability of the most disadvantaged children, “said Rana Flowers, UNICEF China Representative. “We look forward to working with the Government to support the roll out of the new guidelines and building on the work underway to develop a comprehensive child protection and social welfare system, with an integrated package of services, for all children without reliable care, including children affected by migration."

Media contacts

Liu Li
Communication Specialist
Tel: +86-10-85312612


UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.              

Visit UNICEF China website: www.unicef.cn
Follow us on Sina Weibo: http://weibo.com/unicefchina
Tencent Weibo: http://t.qq.com/unicef
Wechat: unicefchina