In her parents’ bare brick-built shack in southern Beijing, Li Xue sifts through piles of court verdicts, petitions and other papers that record her family’s struggle for most of the 20 years of her life to secure a simple document: a household registration certificate, the basic building block of official identity in China. Because she was born in violation of China’s one-child-per-couple policy, local officials will not give her one. As a result she could not go to school. She now cannot get a job, nor get married, nor even buy a train or plane ticket.
It seems very unjust to punish a child for something they had no control over.