China Tries to Register Estimated 13 Million Undocumented People

Chinese authorities are trying to register an estimated 13 million people who are without documents, most of whom were babies born in violation of the country’s strict family-size rules.

China had announced weeks earlier it will loosen family planning restrictions to allow all couples to have two children, instead of one. The registration campaign described in a statement from the Public Security Ministry dated Saturday was reported by Chinese news media this week.

A national law says all newborns must be registered, but many Chinese regions require local officials to withhold registration documents for children born in violation of one-child rules until their parents pay fines to family planning officials.

The ministry said it is seeking input on how to deal with the estimated 13 million undocumented. It remains unclear whether any amnesty from fines will be considered.

Without registration documentation, a Chinese person has no access to public education, subsidized health care and employment that offers proper benefits.

24/11 – avec Associated Press