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Although the standard of living in China has risen over the last three decades, inequality is growing.

There are widening gaps between rich and poor, and urban and rural areas. We're working with local communities, NGOs and the government to help ensure no child is left behind.

Rapid development and urbanisation has brought China's children both opportunities and challenges. Just under half live in rural areas, some in incredibly remote places. Many - especially children from ethnic minority groups - are out of education and have little access to healthcare.

At the same time, large numbers of rural parents are now moving to cities in search of work, leaving children with relatives who aren't always equipped to care for them.

For those who travel with their parents, life in urban centres can be fraught with danger. As a result, many children are growing up at risk of abuse, neglect, illness and exploitation.

As one of the leading child rights organisations in China, we're working hard to ensure children get the chance to grow up happy, healthy and protected.

Improving health and protection

Access to adequate healthcare can be a huge problem for rural families. Our 'Helping Babies Breathe' programme has helped improve rural clinicians' resuscitation skills.

We've supported local health workers to diagnose and treat childhood illnesses. And we help village doctors and community leaders promote tailored health information

Our teams are supporting the development of a child protection system in China, and helping improve training for social workers. We've advised on laws and policies, and helped improve provision for vulnerable children who have been trafficked, are living on the streets, or have been in contact with the law.

At a community level, we're promoting non-violent approaches to discipline among parents and teachers.

Education and emergencies

Children's early years are a crucial time for learning. We've pioneered outreach services to bring education to marginalised communities. Alongside parents, teachers and community leaders, we're helping rural families learn about early childhood care and nutrition.

We've trained teachers, improved hygiene education and equipped schools with better sanitation and clean water supplies. Our teams have also supported children with disabilities to attend mainstream schools, and helped migrant young people to find work.

Around 50% of people in China live in disaster-prone areas. As well as responding to emergencies, such as the 2013 Sichuan floods, with essential supplies and support, we also help communities prepare for future disasters. Working with schools and communities, we help minimise risks and ensure children know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Page updated October 2021

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