Manfred Elfstrom, Program Officer, International Labor Rights Forum
In May I wrote about a Southern
Metropolis Daily exposé of child trafficking in
According to a
In cases where children are employed in toxic workplaces, employers suffer penalties of up to 300,000 RMB in accordance with the “Regulation on Labor Protections in Workplaces Using Poisonous Substances” (使用有毒物品作业场所劳动保护条例). The blog China Real News further notes that whistleblowers will receive 1,000 RMB per child labor case revealed, though I have been unable to corroborate this from the Chinese press.
These are all admirable moves. If strongly implemented, they will reduce the advantages to companies of using children by raising the costs of breaking the law. The whistleblower provision, if true, is particularly intriguing.
Unfortunately, determining who is a “child laborer” is
difficult. Chinese are required to have
a national identity card at the age of 16, which is also the cutoff age for work. However, fake IDs are rampant. Anyone who has been to
Moreover, with a massive migrant population that is constantly
on the move, traveling from factory to factory and neighborhood to
neighborhood, coordination within just
There are signs that this is more than a local
initiative. For example, Chinagate.com
reported on July 22 that
It will be interesting to see what kind of impact this has.