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China Daily Website

Migrant workers deserve full range of services

Updated: 2013-07-19 22:27

Barriers that block migrant workers and their families becoming urban residents entitled to a range of services should be removed, said an article in People's Daily (excerpts below).

In June alone, more than 40 children drowned.

Reports indicate that most of them were "left-behind children" from rural areas.

The root problem behind these tragedies is the dilemma of migrant workers: they contribute to urbanization with their labor, but they are prevented from benefiting from the process.

In 2012, the urbanization rate reached 52.6 percent, but the registered urban population only accounted for 34.5 percent. Too many migrant workers are working in the cities without being admitted as residents.

As a result, their children have to stay at home, because they cannot get the most basic public services like education and medical care if they follow their parents to cities. The government has introduced a series of measures to remove systemic barriers for migrant workers, but they are far from enough. The number of left-behind children, 60 million, bears testimony that this process must be accelerated.