Heihaizi or "Black Child" is the label branded on a kid born outside of #China's now defunct one-child policy which was put to an end in 2015. The Communist Party of China is credited for preventing at least 400 million births under this draconian family planning rule, inadvertently booming the country's economy which has been steadily rising since the 1980's.

But who are these so-called "Black Children"? What purpose do they have in life? Frankly, not much. A Black Child is deprived of a Hukou - a legal document that serves as an identification quite similar to a social security number through which one can avail government benefits. If you want to legalize your child, you have to pay a hefty fine which the government calls a "social maintenance fee." Unable to do so will see your child be termed as a "black child".

'Black children' lead miserable lives

Lives of these children are often miserable. They do not have a right to pursue education, are deprived of health care, a formal job or a legal marriage, living for all intents and purposes, as second-class citizens in their own country. "I was born here, but I don't have any of the rights of a Chinese person," said one such Heihaizi. "Whatever I do, I'm blocked and have difficulties. There is nothing in China that proves whether I exist or not. I began to see that my life was entirely different from those around me, and it was because I had no Hukou," she told AFP.

Her mother added: "She used to cry and tell me,'Mom, I just want to go to school,' but there was no way for her to do so. We'd have to go to the neighbours to beg for some medicine if she was sick."

A life of crime

As a result of these dire and unforgiving circumstances, the Heihaizi often resort to transgression, working with organized crime syndicates in prostitution, drugs trafficking, extortion, etc. It is no secret as well that some parents sell these children on the black market for money.

According to 2010's census, there were approximately 13 million "black children" in China, although several demographers believe the actual number may well be twice that. What the Chinese government did not realize was that the one-child policy would one day bring about a severe gender imbalance and age growth. Today, Chinese men outnumber women by a whopping 33 million meaning that millions of Chinese Men will never experience the joys of marriage.

An ageing population

And with the population ageing rapidly, the working class is slowly shrinking. According to the estimations of the United Nations, China will have 440 million people over the age of sixty by 2050. The number of people of working age is dropping by millions every year.

In December 2015, the Chinese government announced plans to reform the rigid Hukou system. But with over 13 million of these so-called "black children" living miserably on the fringes of society all around the country, it could be a while before the lives of these miserable people are rehabilitated. #Politics #asia