12th January 2017
Shenzhen Closes Door on Blind Migrants
City’s ‘hukou’ regulations say people with disabilities cannot become official residents.
Xiao Guangting became a qualified masseur, found a job, married the woman he loved, and became the father of a son, all during his nearly two decades in Shenzhen, southern China. But the 39-year-old still can’t call the city home. His application to become an official resident was rejected by city authorities again and again because of his disability: Xiao is blind.
Believing that they have the right to be treated equally, Xiao and others have sued several departments of the municipal government over the last four years, only to be rejected each time by the courts. Refusing to give up, Xiao recently took his case to the provincial high court. “I hope my actions can bring change,” he told “Sixth Tone”.
In Shenzhen, a point system grants local household registrations, or hukou, to “talented” people and keeps out those whose qualifications don’t add up to the required 100 points. For example, an undergraduate degree is worth 80 points, but people whose highest level of education is high school get just 30 points. A good job, stable financial situation, and other considerations are worth additional points.