Invisible lives: a legacy of China’s family planning rules

15 minutes

How the one-child policy created a Chinese underclass of 13 million people with no rights

In 1979 China introduced one of the largest social engineering efforts in human history – the ‘one-child policy’ – to combat population growth. In addition to leaving the country with problematic demographic imbalances, this family planning policy has created an underclass of 13 million unregistered people, all born ‘illegally’. Parents with more than one child have been fired from their jobs and burdened with exorbitant fines or fees to register their unsanctioned children. Even more troubling, people without official registration are not classed as Chinese citizens, and so can’t access even the most basic forms of social welfare, including healthcare, education and protection under the law, nor do they have the right to work or marry. In 2015 the Chinese Communist Party announced it would ease the one-child policy and grant residence rights to all unregistered people, but millions must still fight arduous bureaucratic battles to be granted basic rights.

Video by Thomson Reuters Foundation

Filming: Shanshan Chen

Video/Sports & Games

Even before kick-off, Milan’s San Siro stadium is an awe-inducing spectacle

6 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Ethics

If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals

6 minutes

Video/Neurodiversity

How the ‘Island of the Colourblind’ made Oliver Sacks rethink ’normal’

6 minutes

Essay/History

How Europe became so rich

In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?

Joel Mokyr

Video/Demography & Migration

The interned and the undocumented: the immigration spectrum in the US today

7 minutes

Idea/Religion

Understanding other religions is fundamental to citizenship

Kenneth Primrose

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Essay/Economics

The great cryptocurrency heist

Blockchain enthusiasts crave a world without bankers, lawyers or fat-cat executives. There's just one problem: trust

E J Spode

Video/Work

What the night janitor knows about you. And what you should know about her

9 minutes

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Idea/Demography & Migration

Solving the mystery of the Druze – a 2,000-year-old odyssey

Eran Elhaik