China's home alone children are vulnerable: Report

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 14, 2013 08:40 hrs

Beijing, Sep 14 (IANS) Girls who are left behind at home in rural China and the children of migrant workers are more likely to become victims of sexual assault, said a report.

According to statistics released Friday, girls of migrant workers account for up to 88 percent of sexual assault victims in some districts of Shenzhen, and girls who are left alone at home account for up to 94 percent of victims in Huazhou, reports Xinhua.

The report found the girls who are left behind are most vulnerable to sexual offences in less developed regions, and the children of migrant workers face higher chances of assault in developed areas.

Jointly released by the China Children and Teenagers' Fund (CCTF) and the Research Centre for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise under Beijing Normal University, the report blamed lack of guardianship as the direct cause for an increase in cases of sexual assault.

An increasing number of rural workers heading for cities have led to an increase in the number of children who are left at home. They are usually cared for by grandparents or other relatives.

Lack of basic guardianship can even lead to repeated and prolonged sexual harassment and assault, the report said.

Chen Xiaoxia, secretary general of the CCTF, said the report was based on analyses by groups of researchers who collected questionnaires and conducted field studies in Guangdong, Guizhou and Jilin provinces.

It also said mentally-challenged girls face higher chances of sexual assault compared to other girls.

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