UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children Queen Rania visits migrant women and children in Beijing
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan today visited a migrant community at Shibalidian Township in Chaoyang District, Beijing, to experience first-hand the situation of migrant women and children.
“I am very impressed by the work that is being done here – and elsewhere in Beijing, and China at large – to address the needs of migrant communities, particularly mothers and children.” Queen Rania, UNICEF’s first ever Eminent Advocate for Children, said. “What I have seen here today is a model of good practice in tackling the challenges posed by large migrant communities. It attests to the commitment of the Chinese government, alongside UNICEF, the WHO and other civil society organizations, to ensure that their children have not just the right start, but the best start of life.”
Shibalidian is typical of many townships in Beijing and other cities throughout eastern China, having received an influx of thousands of migrants from rural areas of the country in recent years. Internal migration in China is thought to number up to 150 million people, including 20 million children.
During her visit, Queen Rania toured a community health centre, where she met a number of pregnant women receiving antenatal care and learned about UNICEF’s work with national, county and local partners to improve health services and educate the local community. Queen Rania also visited a village clinic where she observed medical workers vaccinating children.
Queen Rania’s visit championed the cause of this often invisible section of the population, emphasizing the need for better health care among China’s migrants.
UNICEF and WHO are supporting the Chinese Government to ensure universal access to an essential package of maternal and child health services, and to promote appropriate infant and young child feeding. The children’s agency is also working to improve childhood vaccination coverage among migrant communities in two provinces, including in Chaoyang District in Beijing.
“Her Majesty’s visit has really highlighted the poor circumstances of migrant women and children in some parts of China,” said UNICEF Representative to China, Dr. Yin Yin Nwe, who accompanied Queen Rania. “As the number of migrant families continues to rise, it will be increasingly important for national and especially local authorities to finance and staff health facilities, schools and other public services.”
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