onsdag 19. juni 2019

China sees progress in tackling child labour but problems remain

Just over a decade ago, child labour was a “widespread, systematic and increasingly serious problem in China.” Teenagers from poor rural families regularly dropped out of school to work in nearby factories, restaurants etc. and the abduction of children into forced labour in Shanxi and Henanbecame a national scandal.

Today, the forces creating both the supply of and demand for child labour have diminished considerably, and although there are still occasional reports of child labour in the Chinese media, the situation has improved. Economic development and restructuring, particularly the move away from low-cost, labour intensive manufacturing, has significantly reduced the market for cheap child labour. That said, student interns above the legal working age of 16-years-old are still frequently used by factories as a source of flexible labour during periods of high demand.

The Chinese government’s nationwide poverty alleviation campaign, which aims to eliminate absolute poverty in China by the end of next year, has played an important role in improving the lives of people in poor rural communities that were the primary source of child labour.