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Police in Dongguan target sex workers in massive face-saving operation

Police in Dongguan arrested 67 people yesterday, just a few hours after national broadcaster China Central Television exposed the extent of the sex industry in the city and the lack of any police efforts to control it.

Shenzhen officials investigating child labour just go through the motions

The Shenzhen authorities have now investigated last month’s media exposé of child labour in the city and have made their determination. However, the punishment handed down to the two factories involved is unlikely to scare off other employers in the future.

Time for real action to combat child labour in China

Whenever the Chinese media exposes a case of child labour, a fairly predictable pattern unfolds: commentators express surprise and outrage, government officials promise to investigate, the children are “rescued” and sent back home. Then the story is forgotten about – until the next exposé, when the whole process starts again.

Guangdong’s factory recruiters forced to cast their nets even wider

Major factories in Guangdong are now recruiting 40-year-olds in a bid to keep their production lines running. Service providers such as banks and telecoms companies however can still afford to stipulate ridiculous limits on age and gender in hiring new staff.

Doctors protest at violence while hospital security guards languish in police detention

Following the killing of a senior doctor and the subsequent mass protest by hundreds of hospital workers in the Zhejiang city of Wenling last Monday, the issue of hospital security and the dangers faced by China’s doctors has once again hit the headlines.

Time to get back to basics in labour relations

A group of labour organizations, activists and workers is urging the government to get back to basics and re-establish the primacy of direct employment contracts and ensure that employment agencies are only used for their original intended purpose; namely the supply of temporary, auxiliary and substitute labour.

How a six-year-old girl from Shandong can save Shanghai

Shanghai women produce, on average, just 0.7 children in their lifetime. This reluctance to reproduce is creating numerous social and economic problems including not having nearly enough local children to fill the city’s schools.

What happens when elderly workers in China legally cease to be workers?

When workers in China reach the statutory retirement age they are no longer technically workers. Under Chinese law, they are deemed not to have an “employment relationship” (劳动关系) and are instead categorized as labour service providers (劳务关系), similar to domestic helpers etc.

Clean Clothes Campaign supports the garment industry accord

The Clean Clothes Campaign has offered a detailed response to my blog last week in which I criticised the actions of the garment industry thus far in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh.

Putting the garment industry’s promises into perspective

The final death toll at Rana Plaza was 1,127.  It was by far the worst disaster in the centuries-long history of garment industry tragedies. Yet, the response of the international garment industry and the government in Bangladesh thus far has been to promise basic safety standards and workers’ rights that should have been in place years ago.


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