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Six-year-old kept in a chicken cage for a year

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Chongqing Evening News
July 22, 2009

For over a year, a six-year-old girl was kept by her grandmother in a bamboo cage in Chongqing, the Chongqing Evening News reports.

The girl, identified as Yanyan, lost her mother last year. Her father, a migrant worker, entrusted the daughter to his own mother, 63-year-old Guo Changshou, before he left for good.

Guo's boyfriend, a 57-year-old man named Yu Bohua, told the paper that he originally made the cage for chickens, but Guo insisted on using it to hold her granddaughter. To prevent possible escape, Guo even blocked the door with heavy stone.

Some neighbors testified that they heard Yanyan crying from time to time, and sometimes they would even give her food through the bars. Yanyan, who appears in the photo wearing clothing bought by the reporter, had been kept naked most of the time she spent in the cage. That, according to her grandma, was because she "doesn't have money."

The imprisonment seems have taken a heavy toll on the child's health: her language skills appear impaired, and she has great difficulty in walking.

The top headline concerns children's safety. A recent survey conducted by community workers in a Chongqing neighborhood found that seven of the eleven children they encountered opened the door to strangers and even invited them inside, despite their parents' caution against answering the door to people they don't know.

The article is cast as a summer safety reminder, since many children are not attending classes while their parents are away at work.

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