SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages China).

China is the world's fourth largest country and the most populous with over 1.4 billion people. Its biggest city is Shanghai with 28 million and the capital, Beijing, is home to 21 million inhabitants. In the past decades, China has undergone an astounding economic transformation. It is one of the world’s biggest exporters and attracts a record amount of foreign investment. Although the situation of children has improved overall, children from migrant families, ethnic and religious minorities, and those living with disabilities continue to experience hardship.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in China since 1986.

Children are at risk

There are over 300 million children under the age of 18 in China. The country signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, and has since launched several programmes to improve the lives of children. In spite of this, many children remain unprotected. China has one of the highest rates of child labour in the world. Children in rural areas are most at risk – they are more likely to have to work than those living in cities.
Of the population lives in cities

Urban development

China's rapid economic transformation in recent decades has transformed its society: the literacy rate and life expectancy rates have increased dramatically and millions of people no longer live in poverty. Currently, around 62% of the population live in cities, but this figure is rapidly increasing. The inequality regarding the standard of living and access to basic services between rural and urban areas have brought about social tensions in rural areas.

Deaths related to air pollution in 2017

Environment and health

China’s economy is globally important, but it is also a major emitter of greenhouse gases. The environmental damage caused by the rapid economic expansion in China has resulted in widespread air pollution. This has led to a rise in respiratory problems and other illnesses, posing new challenges for the healthcare system. An estimated 1.24 million deaths in China were attributed to air pollution in 2017. Lifestyle changes have also had other effects: obesity is an increasing problem especially in major cities.

People are without a high school degree

Unequal growth

Recent changes in China’s labour market, such as falling employment in manufacturing and construction and a rise in automation, mean that more workers are forced to take on other kinds of work. Around 500 million people (between the ages of 18 and 64) do not have a high school degree. There is increased demand for a highly educated workforce and a large number of unskilled workers need further training before they can be employed.

Together we can make a difference for children in China

Children and young people
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
At SOS Children’s Villages we believe that all children need a solid education and strong bonds to help them thrive as they grow up. These bonds are often formed at home with their caregivers and siblings or with teachers in the kindergartens and schools (photo: SOS Children’s Villages China).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting.
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives