Clandestine school for migrant children in Beijing. As many migrants in the cities do not have resident permits themselves (let alone for their families) they cannot, among other things, send their children to the local schools. In many suburbs migrants have organized parallel social services (such as schools and medical clinics) by themselves. The teachers are often also migrants brought from the villages. The authorities generally turn a blind eye to these structures as they need the migrants and are, in fact, one of the largest employers of migrants (both legal and illegal). Since this photograph was taken (1998), the area has been “sanitized” and largely developed as an affluent commercial zone.