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China survey highlights issue of children growing up without parents

2012/06/01 23:37:51

Taipei, June 1 (CNA) A recent survey on migrant workers in China highlights the issue of children growing up in rural regions without their parents, according to a report published by Beijing Morning Post on Friday, International Children's Day.

Over 30 percent of polled blue-collar workers, who were born after the 1980s, said they were cared for by their grandparents while their parents worked in faraway cities, according to the report that cited a survey by a China-based online job bank.

Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they grew up with one parent, 20 percent said they were raised by relatives, and 10 percent said they never saw their guardians, the survey said.

The survey also found that about 29 percent of pollees said during childhood they only met their parents once a year or every two years, and 13 percent said they had not seen their parents at least three years.

A total of 55 percent of respondents said they met their parents more than once in a year, the survey unveiled.

The survey showed that parental absence exposes children to factors that others may not have to face, with about 30 percent of pollees saying they often felt lonely and depressed and others saying they were bullied during their childhood.

To prevent their children from growing up the same way, nearly 70 percent of the young workers said they were willing to give up working in big cities -- where there are higher wages and more jobs -- and return home to spend time with their children.

According to official figures in China, at least 58 million children -- nearly a quarter of the nation's children and almost a third of children in rural areas -- are growing up without one or both of their parents.

The survey was conducted on 7,100 adults who are currently working in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Suzhou.

(By Hanna Liu)