Xinhua published an article about a recent study of the children in rural areas who have been left behind. According to a notice from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Education and Public Security, from March through July, 2016, a nationwide study was conducted on the left-behind children in rural areas. The data is being consolidated and will be published soon. The definition of left-behind children in rural areas refers to children living in rural areas who are less than 16 years old and who have been left behind when either or both parents left to work in urban areas or when one of the parents left but the other one is incapable of caring for the child. Based just on the data from Jiangsu, Fujian and Hubei provinces, the population of left-behind children was 242,000, 105,176 and 11,000 respectively in those provinces. Some of them were reported to be living alone by themselves. The article stated that each year close to 50,000 children die in accidents. Most of these are left-behind children. In recent years the media has reported cases of sexual assault, drug overdose, and suicide. At least 24 provinces and cities have published policies to protect these children and to require that children below the age of 16 years cannot live alone.
Source: Xinhua, August 28, 2016