China will carry out a nationwide census on rural left-behind children, those whose parents work away from home, to ensure proper arrangements for their lives and education.
The census kicked off on March 29 and will last until the end of July. It will collect information on the number and distribution of these kids, where they live, family structure and education, according to a statement issued at a press conference by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) on March 29.
Information about their health and their relatives’ source of income will also be gathered.
The census will be jointly conducted by the MCA and the ministries of education and public security.
According to the statement, the authorities will establish a database, which will support the drafting and implementation of policies for left-behind children.
Wang Jinhua, an official with the MCA, said the census covers rural children under the age of 16 whose parents are not their main caregiver.
In addition, civil affairs authorities will survey left-behind women and the elderly in the countryside to give them better support, the statement said.