Largest Human Migration in the World
The documentary; "Last Train Home", is the story of Chinese migrant workers – of which there are at least 130 million. It explores the strain of one particular Chinese family as they struggle to make ends meet and maintain a relationship with their children, all the while enslaved to the factory where they work. We witness the largest annual Human Migration in the World – when every year during the Chinese New Year, at least 130 million workers return from their jobs in industrial cities for visits to their homes and families in the countryside.
There are around 7 to 10 million new migrants who leave their villages and/or rural areas for the cities every year. The migrants arrive by bus and/or train in the cities with their possessions crammed into nylon sacks. In the cities they live in shanty towns, dormitories or public spaces and/or sometimes their home consist of the sidewalks. The largest concentration of migrants is said to be in the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Province, where there is an estimated 10 million migrants, including a half million child laborers.
The average migrant worker earns approximately $100 a month and at least a third of it, they send home to family. Families with at least one migrant worker are said to almost automatically be lifted above the poverty level of $1 a day. Some workers don’t know how much they get paid and go years without receiving any money. They work 12 hour days, seven days a week, and receive room and board in a cramped dormitory with daily rations of rice and noodles, with $12 a month in spending money and money docked from their pay when they are sick.
It’s insane to see what the migrant workers endure every Chinese New Year. Where for hours upon hours they stand in a packed train station where the likelihood of being trampled is a high possibility as they each one wait for a ticket and the ability to return home. The train ride home is a 2 day trip, at least and, after a week at home – they then leave to return to the factory job until the Chinese New Year arrives again and they are once again able to take time off to go home.
Can you imagine it – you leave for work on a Monday morning knowing full well that you’ll not be returning home for a year!? What this means for the migrant workers is that their children are left with family members to care for them while parents leave for a year to work and earn enough money for them all to survive. When parents return from their year of work they admit they don’t know how to communicate with their children except to remind them to study hard in school, in the hopes for them a better life than they themselves are living.
An interesting point about this documentary is the way we are not given any direction in how to feel about what is being shown. It’s very cool in that, it’s up to us to see for ourselves the systems that we’ve accepted and allowed to exist within our world – and the human attempt to survive them within a world where no one seems to notice, much less care about the struggles of their fellow human being.
As I watched the insanity unfold within the carefully orchestrated madness in order for these people to simply survive – I noticed how my mind searched for answers with questions like, ‘why don’t these millions of people just stop’? ‘Why do they continue to exist in such a way’?
Of course, this is a question for us all to ask ourselves. And, I’m aware of how ‘stopping’ is not so easy in our Current Money System, because we require food and water to survive. So this way of life, this is the migrants only means of surviving, and yet in the act of surviving – who is living? The Truth is, we are All only existing according to the rules of a pre-designed program. We are the puppets, we are the slaves…
According to the 2010 census, China’s "floating population" – as defined as the ‘people who live apart from their homes’, and as defined by China’s stringent ‘hukou’ or household registration system – was from 144 million in 2000 to 261 million in 2010.
Now, it is said to be impossible to discuss the issue of migrant workers without understanding what exactly a ‘hukou’ is. The ‘hukou’ was introduced in the 1950s as a tool of central economic planning. ‘Hukou’ is basically a resident permit given by the government of China. Every family has a ‘Hukou’ booklet that records information about family members, including name, birth date, relationships with each other, marriage status, address and your employer. It is said that the ‘hukou system’ registers every Chinese citizen according to their household origins as either town dwellers or country peasants.
Before 1980, people were required to stay at the small area they were born (where their Hukou is), and stay there until they die. They could not move around. They could travel, but there was no access to job, public services, education, or even food.
Strangely enough – Migration to the cities has been described as “the most effective way for reducing the birthrate” and to improve life. Improve life for who? The rich?…
And, the ‘World Bank’ has called migration “a powerful force for poverty reduction.” That’s bullshit. If even one single living being suffers in any way, and/or dies from starvation, then there’s one to many of us who have more than our share of the pie!
In 2005, 200 million migrants around the world sent home $167 billion. That is twice the size of the world’s development spending, and up from $31 billion in 1990.
Reports in late 2010 were that China will reform its household registration system and relax restrictions on permanent residence registration, or the ‘hukou’, in towns and small and medium-sized cities. However, in my research, I wasn’t able to see any difference made, as things are still existing as they’ve always existed. Without a permanent residence registration, one is not able to receive public services, access to job benefits, such as a pension, nor are they able to receive adequate education for their children. An update in statistics released by the Hubei branch of the All-China Women’s Federation, there are about 1.4 million children left behind by migrant parents seeking to earn a living.
The fact is, behind all of the ‘Made-in-China’ goods that each of us consume around the world, (In the United States there are $366 Billion in imports annually) are the migrant workers, of which the Chinese economy is so heavily dependent upon for export. They are the backbone of the country, yet they are certainly not acknowledged as being so. Without them, the economy and the wealthiest of those within the economy simply wouldn’t be.
Again, the point here is to see how we humans are obviously pre-programmed to accept our current world mess and comply to the rules of enslavement.
It simply doesn’t make sense to continue to support any such a system that only provides a few (the rich) with everything while the many have very little and/or are starving to death. Because, without those who labor day in and day out, working and struggling only barley to survive – without their support – there simply wouldn’t be anything here to be had by those who have it all.
When a system is broken what happens then? When the brake system stops working in our automobiles what then? We have to stop and replace them. The common sense here is that the current systems within our world has reached way past broken to deadly.
We have to begin first with a Solution to replace our Current Money System to one of an Equal Money System – in that single agreement we’ve already removed deadly to one where the value of life is according to what’s best for all life. No one is forced to separate themselves from their children in order to provide their children with food to eat. No one is left behind to suffer and/or die needlessly in the name of profit and greed. With Equal Money – we stop ‘surviving’ – we begin ‘living’, as All as One as Equal.
Let’s get serious – Investigate and Support Equal Money