Criminal activities by migrant teenagers have been increasing in south China's Guangdong Province due to a lack of proper education within families and schools, according to a recent survey.
The survey, conducted by the Guangdong Provincial Prevention and Control of Juvenile Crime Organization, found that migrant teenage criminal cases accounted for nearly 52 percent of the province's juvenile crime last year, China Daily reported Saturday.
The survey was carried out across 10 major cities and over 20 counties in the province last year, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan, which have seen hundreds of thousands of migrant workers moving in over the last decade.
Guangdong currently has the largest number of migrant workers, accounting for nearly one third of the nation's total.
Officials and experts blamed the lack of proper education and protection by families and schools for the increase in migrant juvenile criminal activity.
"Most migrant youngsters quit school after they move to the province, and then begin roaming the streets," said Ou Hui, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of Caring for the Next Generation.
"Protection of legal rights in terms of education and work is key to preventing migrant youngsters from committing crimes," Ou said.
Prefectural-level cities that still do not have drop-in centers for homeless kids have been urged to establish them in 2006, so as to protect children's interests and cut the number of teenage criminals.
In 2005, China had about 150,000 homeless children, according to statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2006)