( dpa ) - Nine out of 10 Hong Kong children are left home alone by their parents, and one in eight have been left alone overnight, according to a survey Monday.
Eighty eight per cent of primary school children aged 11 or under said they had been left alone by their parents for periods between noon and 6 pm, while 11.5 per cent said they been left alone between 6 pm and 6 am.
More than a quarter of parents interviewed in the survey by the Boys and Girls Clubs Association of Hong Kong admitted sometimes leaving children alone at home, while 12 per cent admitted leaving their children overnight.
The most common reasons given by parents for leaving their children unattended were going shopping, going to work and taking care of expected business, while 4 per cent admitted going out for entertainment.
More than 1,000 parents and children were interviewed for the survey, which was conducted amid rising concerns over the welfare of youngsters left home alone by parents in the city of 6.9 million people.
Earlier this month, two Hong Kong single mothers were sentenced to serve probation after admitting abandoning their children - in one case a 14-year-old boy and in the other girls aged 8 and 9 - for days on end to go gambling in Macau.
There have been a number of cases in recent years of children falling to their deaths from high-rise apartment blocks in Hong Kong or phoning police for help after being left alone by their parents.