Vagrant children live a nightmare on society's margins

14:28, June 01, 2010      

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Vagrant children live on the fringes of mainstream society. They are most vulnerable among disadvantaged groups and so they need the care and attention of all people.

The term "vagrant children" refers to minors who are homeless and wander here and there without the custody of legal guardians, fixed incomes or residence. This group tends to be neglected by the public because they are too young and their voices too weak.

Reasons behind the emergence of vagrant children

There are multiple reasons that cause children to become vagrants. Some children leave home to earn money because their families are impoverished. Most of the vagrant children come from rural areas and seek to earn money outside their hometowns because their families are too poor to afford normal school education. Their family members and others villagers already work outside their hometowns.

However, most fail to find jobs because they are too young and their education levels are too low. Therefore, after using up their money, they make a living by begging.

The second reason is the main explanation for the phenomenon. Some minors run away from home because of changes in their household structure such as their parents getting divorced or put into prison. Some children leave because of improper household education, autocratic parents and child abuse, or because parents lack the sense of responsibility to regulate their children and even indulge them.

According to a report on Sept. 10, 2010 by Nanfang Daily, reporters witnessed a girl named Xiaojuan at Guangzhou Municipal Center for Rescuing and Protecting Vagrant Children. Xiaojuan said she was born in a small mountain village and had never been far away from her home before she ran away. She does not know her home address or which township, city or province she comes from.

"When I was at home, my father and mother always quarreled and once ignored my existence for several days. Later, my mother decided to go to Guangzhou to earn money and never came back home," said Xiaojuan.

Her father often scolded her and made her very unhappy. To find her mother, Xiaojuan quietly left home without any preparation and headed for Guangzhou. She did not mention the details about her tough trip to Guangzhou, but she did not know where her mother was. After arriving, she had no money and had to wander in streets. Several days later, she was found by police officers who sent her to the center.

The third cause is social factors such improper school education. Once children make friends with bad people in society, they will be misled and would rather wander than learn. In addition, there are many minors in China abducted by criminals every year.
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