Rural youth migration and its implication for family planning and reproductive health in China
Hao Yan, Institute of Economic Research, National Development and Reform Commission
Massive rural-urban migration is one of the newly emerged phenomena in the era of reform in China. Rural-urban migrants consist mainly of young people and males. Under the existing hukou system, migrants are not considered as officially registered city residents and have no access to most welfare services, such as family planning and reproductive health. That means, migrants may escape from birth quota imposed by their home village. When in need, however, migrants cannot use the family planning and reproductive health services as their urban counterparts. Most youth migrants are still single. The new-found sexual freedom in cities has many positive effects, but also unwanted side-products: the rise in unplanned pregnancy and abortion, as well as in STD infections. There is an urgent need to extend the existing family planning and reproductive health programs to migrant workers, young girls in particular, regardless of their hukou registration status in cities.