China uses child labor

China: Increased child labor due to labor shortage

"In particular, textile and toy factories in China are hiring more and more children." That said the spokesman for the human rights organization "China Labor Bulletin" (Hong Kong), Congguo Cai, in an interview with the Chinese program of DW-RADIO. The reason for this is a labor shortage in Chinese cities, especially in the south of the country. Cai: "These children get the lowest wages. They have neither the courage nor the strength to defend themselves against it." In addition, another reason for the increase in child labor is the growing poverty of many families who cannot send their children to school. Cai described the working conditions in the private clothing and toy companies run by Taiwanese and Hong Kongers as "particularly bad". A study of his organization had shown that the workers "have to accept long working hours and high workloads, and are also not aware of any social security". Women would not get maternity leave, work on public holidays would not be paid.

Many factories, Cai told Deutsche Welle, "resemble a prison: the companies force their employees to surrender their identity cards. They then withhold wages for several months to prevent the workers from switching to other employers." Cai accused the responsible politicians at the regional level of "trying to attract foreign investors with low wages and strike bans". With regard to China's textile dispute with the EU and the US, Cai admitted that higher export costs could lead Chinese companies and foreign trade firms to "continue to depress wages and extend working hours".

June 3, 2005
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