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Dongguan plants still employ children

[ 2009-07-15 10:52]     字号 [] [] []  
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Factories are still using child labor despite an investigation that found just one underage worker in the city, an expert says.

The Sanfu Electronic Co in Tangxia town employed an underage boy last October, according to the second-quarter investigation by the Dongguan labor bureau.

But Liu Kaiming, executive director of the Institute of Contemporary Observation, a non-government organization dedicated to labor studies, said the investigation failed to provide a real picture of the problem.

"It's hard to fetch out these companies since they won't put these children on the employment list and they know how to cope with the government investigations," Liu said.

"They could send the children away when the officials come and get them back when officials leave."

In April last year, a media investigation found more than 1,000 workers under the legal age of 16 and from southwest Sichuan province working in Dongguan factories.

In response, the government launched its own investigation of 3,000 factories and found just 66 children at work.

Liu said the child labor problem could not be solved in a short space of time.

"Many children come to work with their parents, who have been migrant labors in various Chinese cities, after or even before they graduate from the junior middle school," he said.

The labor bureau conducts regular audits of factories. It began publishing the results in October 2006. An audit planned for the first quarter of this year was suspended because of the economic crisis.

A Dongguan labor official said that the use of child labor would decrease with increased monitoring.

On April 1, the government announced a reward system to encourage people to report the use of child labor.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Dongguan plants still employ children

About the broadcaster:

Dongguan plants still employ children

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.