China now admits there are “ghost children”

Nov 25, 2015, 08:40 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - The Chinese government for the first time admitted the fact that there are millions of ghost children or "heihaizi", referring to undocumented children that are born outside China's one-child policy, garnering much attention. As China would soon consider plans for the issue, there is also much attention whether the miserable lives of heihaizi could be improved or not.

A child of Chinese minority holding her identifying document. Some children have a miserable life as they are not documented./ Source from China's First Financial Daily

China's leading newspaper First Financial Daily reported on Tuesday that the Chinese government officially admitted the existence of heihaizi living in China at a recent internal meeting. There are at least 13 million heihaizi according to the government's census. Second or third children born illegally in the past 40 years have no papers and no rights. Some of them are known to be still living as "ghosts" even after they become adults.

Of course, their lives are miserable. First of all, public schooling is impossible for them. Even if they make it to school expediently and graduate, they are unable to apply for legal jobs, get married, and start a family. In short, we could say that they are not guaranteed to the basic right to life.

The problem is that the unofficial figure of heihaizi could amount up to 80 million since the implementation of the one-child policy in 1978.
The Chinese government's admission of the existence of heihaizi for the first time is closely related with the government's recent announcement of the end of its one-child policy. As the officials admitted that the one-child policy is a failure, it seems they also admitted its side effects.

Of course, there will be relief measures and corrective measures for them. The number of official objects of relief will amount to millions of people. However, there won't be any compensation for 30 million heihaizi who already became adults and are living outside the system already.


#China #heihaizi #one-child policy #ghost children 
Copyright by Asiatoday