Policy-Oriented Examination of Left-Behind Children’s Health 2 and Wellbeing in China

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Introduction. This paper will build on existing scholarly assets, addressing how the avoidance of rural-to-urban labour migration as a solution to mitigate the challenges faced by left-behind children is pragmatically infeasible. As an alternative, the paper will engage in the discussion about the relevant policy development and existing policy gaps the Chinese Government has implemented and has been subject to respectively, in order to locate the problems of how left-behind children continue to be exposed to emotional and psychological vulnerability, despite the Chinese Government’s interventions. Methods. Bibliographic databases Google Scholar and PubMed were searched. The combination of the words [(“left-behind children” OR “LBC”) AND (“China” OR “Chinese”) AND (“human rights” OR “mental health” OR “well-being”) AND (“policy” OR “policies” or “policymaking”)] was input into the search engines. A total of 38 papers deemed eligible and relevant were chosen non-systematically, studied and summarised. Results. Local rural governments lack any concrete measures designated for left-behind rural children to specifically support their mental health needs. Also, internal and medical care coordination within the Chinese Government and across counties respectively on improving the emotional and psychological well-being of left-behind rural children is disorganised. Moreover, there is a very limited collection of up-to-date, available datasets examining left-behind children’s development and well-being. Discussion. This paper suggests, in detail, how the Chinese Government can strategically apply policies and interventions for the redistribution of resources and opportunities to left-behind children in rural China. This paper recognises the existing interventions initiated and implemented by the Chinese Government for resource redistribution and, simultaneously, recommends the Government to follow two localised American models for further resource redistribution per se that are designated for benefitting left-behind rural Chinese children.


Peer reviewed: True

policy, mental health, well-being, child health, left-behind children, China, sustainable development
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