Jan 04, 2016 04:02 PM

Going the Last Mile on Hukou Reform

Policymakers have turned their attention to giving official status to millions of undocumented individuals, mostly those born in violation of the country's one-child policy. In December, the government announced it will allow those without a household registration document, or hukou, to get one.

A survey in 2010 suggested that at least 13 million people, roughly 1 percent of the country's population, are not registered. The National Development and Reform Commission found that 60 percent of those locked out of the system are people whose birth flouted the one-child rule. Their families had hidden their birth to avoid paying hefty fines, known as a social compensation fee, to the government. Migrant families had to adhere to the one-child policy to get a permanent residence permit in many big cities like Beijing. It is still unclear whether those born in violation of the one-child rule will have to pay penalties before getting their paperwork processed.

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