China is a country that is plagued with many social problems. Some of them go back many years and others are new to the horizon, thanks to years of not addressing the obvious. Three serious social problems that are of particular concern are the current state of suicides, the impending gender imbalance and the violation of human rights. Suicide rates in China have been reported to be alarmingly on the rise. Rates amongst the urban elderly are particularly high and of concern. Their suicides are being attributed to factors such as the increase in their medical bills and their forced relocation to make room for development. Another reason, which may be a direct result of the “one child laws”, may be the younger generation’s lack of siblings to share with their care. Another group plagued by suicides are migrant workers. These workers are committing suicide in protest of social inequality, poor working conditions and most recently over the plants reneging of severance promised. Gender imbalance is another social problem in China. Reports state that there will be 30 million more marriageable men than woman within 10 years in China.
This significant imbalance is also said to be due to the country’s “one child” policy. Couple the previous fact with the number of low income men or men of little education and the result is sure to pose a serious social problem such as increased human trafficking or forced prostitution. The violation of human rights in China is not a new social problem but one that is drawing considerable criticism. Violations against the freedoms of both movement and speech and the lack of due process are but a few of the problems facing the population. The government has a long history of controlling the movement of citizens between metro and rural areas making it very hard for one to seek employment outside of their social settings. Chinese citizens have also long been prevented from expressing opinions that are considered anti-government. Finally, the lack of legal due process or the lack of respect for an individual’s rights has drawn particular criticism leading to the government’s recent debate over law reform. Addressing these social issues needs to be a priority of China if they intend to balance the sentiment of their population and in my opinion, doing so would only benefit the country’s future outlook.