Migrant Childen In China-UnSeen, Unheard

Nobody knows how many migrant children are currently in Beijing but estimates suggest there are nearly 20 million in China. In fact, there are still no accurate figures as to the number of migrant workers and some estimates range into figures over one hundred million. Migrant children confront a number of difficult situations since their parents may be engaged in seasonal work and have to move on regardless of where in the school term it occurs. Geng Ting, 11, noted: “I was happy to rejoin my parents, but unwillng to leave friends I’d grown up with.”

During her three years in Beijing, she has attended five schools but now, attends a special school in Beijing for migrant children. “I sometimes lose my temper with my parents for changing schools so often as I’ve just built up relationships with teachers and friends and then have to leave. It means I have to do this all over again.” Migrants fear authority and many will not even register their children in school for fear it might effect their migrant status and lead to being returned to their home village.