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China’s coal mine safety watchdog, the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety (SACMS), reported on 19 January that both the number of accidents and deaths in the country’s coal mines fell by around 20 percent last year. The number of deaths decreased from 3,215 in 2008 to 2,631 in 2009. And the number of accidents fell by 338 to 1,616, Xinhua quoted SACMS director Zhao Tiechui as saying.
A middle-aged pharmacist at a hospital in central China has been awarded 118,000 yuan in compensation after being savagely beaten by the hospital’s director. Chen Yanqun suffered severe physical and psychological injuries when she was beaten around the head and body by Zheng Weibin, the director of Longtou Hospital in Chenggu county, Shaanxi, on 24 October 2008.
New labour contract regulations promulgated by the provincial government of China’s coal heartland, Shanxi, contain specific provisions designed to enhance job security and workplace safety for coal miners. But while these provisions might look good on paper, they will in reality do little to protect those working in the world’s most dangerous coal mines.
Three workers died and another three were seriously injured during a sulfuric acid explosion at an electroplating factory in Shenzhen, China’s official media reported at the weekend.
The government’s revisions to its Work-related Injury Insurance Regulations will go a long way to giving workers the insurance cover and legal protection they need, but lack the clout to force employers to comply.
In July 2009, Zhang Haichao voluntarily underwent an operation to open up his chest in order to prove he was suffering from the fatal lung disease pneumoconiosis. Photograph of Zhang by Yanzhou Metropolis Daily
On the 20th anniversary of the crushing of the pro-democracy movement in Beijing, CLB Director, Han Dongfang, expresses the hope that China’s current generation of civil rights defenders can realize the dreams of the Tiananmen Square protesters, but without further bloodshed. Photo by Chamarisk.
Eighteen months after well-known labour activist Huang Qingnan was savagely attacked by knife wielding thugs outside his Shenzhen office, his assailants have finally been sentenced. The Shenzhen Longgang District People’s Court on 18 May sentenced principal assailant Huang Zhizhong to five years imprisonment, while the mastermind behind the attack, local businessman and factory owner Zhong Weiqi, was sentenced to four years in jail.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security announced on 8 May that the total number of cases accepted by China’s labour dispute arbitration committees last year increased by 98 percent compared with 2007 to stand at 693,000, and involved 1.2 million workers in total.
Table of Contents Part one: Those left behind Separated for years on end Insecurity, anxiety and fear Accidents and injuries

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