One percent of China’s population, 13 million people, are currently unregistered, living without the all-important hukou, but that’s all about to change as state media announced yesterday that every one of these undocumented citizens will be provided with household registration permits.
While some of the unregistered citizens are orphans, the vast majority are “black children” that were born in violation of the one child policy and whose parents could not afford to pay the onerous fines involved in registering them.
With a hukou, these people will for the first time have access to various forms of social welfare like medical insurance, not to mention the right to basic education.
“It is a basic legal right for the Chinese citizens to lawfully register for hukou. It’s also a premise for citizens to participate in social affairs, enjoy rights and fulfill duties,” reads a statement released on Wednesday following a group meeting on reform presided over by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“The number of people without hukou, their distribution and causes should be made clear… and every citizen’s right to hukou should be protected in accordance with the law,” the statement continued.
Back in October during the Party’s Fifth Plenum, Beijing announced a historic change in its family planning policy allowing all couples to have two kids instead of one. It’s already shaping up to be quite the next five years.