What is a Left-behind child?
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What is a Left-behind child?

In mainland China, there are more than 6.97 million left-behind children. These children’s parents leave their hometown to find work in the cities, but are often unable to bring their children with them. Many children from poor families are even separated from their parents before they learn to speak.

With the urbanisation of mainland China, an increasing number of people among the younger generation are leaving their hometowns in rural areas to find work in other parts of the country; there are now over 200 million migrant workers working in the cities. However, the number of left-behind children continues to increase. Children who lack parental care for extended periods of time face a lonely and difficult childhood, and this deeply affects their physical and mental health. As a result, the social problems arising from this issue are becoming increasingly prominent.

Oxfam is one of the first non-governmental organisations to support left-behind children in mainland China. Over the years, we have been working to improve the education and psychological wellbeing of these children. We have also been urging local governments and education departments in mainland China to support left-behind children with fair education policies.

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We see happiness on her face.
But who can see the sadness in her eyes?

Yiyi, 10

Yiyi, 10, is a primary three student who lives in a remote village in Gansu. Her father has been working in Guangdong for many years. Yiyi’s grandparents look after her.


Hermother abandoned the family some years ago, but Yiyi’s grandparents lied to her saying that her mother is working in another city.


"My father comes home once a year. We normally stay in touch by phone. He always reminds me to work hard on my studies. I miss my parents. I hope that they take good care of themselves."





Share your care. Support left-behind children today.

 donate now

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