Tianjin, situated about 100km south-east of the capital Beijing, is home to over 14 million people. The city is growing rapidly. Its proximity to the capital and to the sea, as well as the creation of free trading zones have resulted in numerous companies moving to the area.
The rapid rate of industrialization has resulted in polluted water which not only affects farming and fishing, but also leads to poor health in people living or working near sources of contamination.
Since 1987, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tianjin.
A large imbalance in the male-to-female ratio adds to challenges in China’s social life. There are 30-40 million more men than women. The situation varies from one region to another. Women and girls from low-income provinces in the south-west move or are brought to rural areas in the east for marriage.
Between 2017 and 2020, courts handled trafficking cases involving at least 1,250 women, and many more cases go undocumented. Forced into these vulnerable situations, women and children often experience abuse and violence because their rights aren’t protected.
In Tianjin, the major northern port city, under 5% of surface water is safe to drink. Pollution in major cities due to industrial activities has made their water unfit for human consumption. Local governments fail to monitor and regulate the hazardous waste disposal by companies into bodies of water.
Limited access to clean water and sanitation impacts the health, education of children and every other aspect of their lives. Women, girls and people with disabilities especially depend on proper sanitation and clean water for good health, and it enables participation in areas of life such as school and work.