International Asia Boy who faked own kidnapping highlights problem of China's left-behind children

Boy who faked own kidnapping highlights problem of China’s left-behind children

The parents of these “left-behind” children leave their homes and often travel far away in order to earn more money for their families




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The boy was was lonely, and he missed his mum and dad. On May 8, a young boy from Luzhou, in the Sichuan province in China, was found tied up and gagged in an abandoned truck in a residential community, according to a report from the Chengdu Business News on May 17 (Friday).

But when questioned by the police, he admitted to faking his own kidnapping because he missed his parents, who are migrant workers, and wanted them to come home.

His parents work far away in a distant part of the country, and he has not seen them since the Lunar New Year. The teen was left in the care of his grandparents, who were also busy working. His grandmother works in the fields and his grandfather takes odd jobs.

The boy, who was not identified in the report, allegedly said that he awoke in the van sometime after he had been sprayed with an unknown substance at a crossroad, which caused him to lose consciousness, said the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

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When he was found in the truck, none of his possessions had been taken from him. The police say they had no clue who the kidnapper was.

But after a lengthy conversation with police officers, who asked him about his family life, the teenager said that he had carried out the “abduction” himself in order to force his parents to come home to him.

He told the police officers, “I missed dad and mum.”

He added that he was sure that if he asked his parents to come home when they spoke on the phone, they would decline to do so. Therefore, he thought that staging his own kidnapping would cause them to come home.

It is unknown if the boy’s parents made the trip home after his story broke out.

Th young boy’s story is not unusual, as there are tens of millions of children who are growing up without their parents, the SCMP says. The parents of these “left-behind” children leave their homes and often travel far away in order to earn more money for their families.

In June 2018, another 13-year-old boy also staged a fake kidnapping to get his parents’ attention. The couple had recently separated prior to their son’s staged kidnapping.

Last February, a video of three little girls bursting into tears and begging their migrant worker mother not to leave them went viral. The girls, who live in Jiatui in Rongjiang county, in south China’s Guizhou province, clung to their mother’s hand as she and their father tried to leave them to look for work elsewhere.

In the video, when the little girls finally let go of their parents, the youngest one was seen sitting on the muddy ground, crying. Her older sisters were trying to comfort her but they were weeping as well.

The father can be heard saying, “We have to leave the village to work and earn money. We leave them to be taken care of by my parents.”

There are around 286 million migrant workers in China. Parents are forced to leave their children in the care of older relatives, and only see them during the holidays, a few times a year.

The video, which was shared on, was seen by hundreds and thousands of viewers, many of whom left comments saying they could relate to the situation.

A SCMP report says that one netizen commented, “I burst into tears. I previously wanted to do the same as the parents in the video, but now I have decided to stay with my daughter no matter how hard our life is.” /TISG


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