Feeds

Labour groups booted out of China's tech boom town

Workers' woe as Shenzhen NGOs trashed

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in China’s technology boom town of Shenzhen are up in arms after a sustained and co-ordinated campaign by local authorities forced more than ten to shutter their doors.

The Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen is home to one of China’s biggest technology manufacturing hubs, but workers’ rights are often forgotten and employment regulations violated in the rush to produce greater and greater quantities at lower cost, often for big name international tech brands.

As such, NGOs can provide a rare source of advice and support for the migrant workers who’ve flocked to the SEZ for employment, offering legal aid, safety training, psychological counselling and other social services.

However, it has emerged that several labour advocacy groups including Spring Breeze Labour Disputes Service Centre, Xiaoxiaocao Advisory Centre and Yuandian Worker Service Centre have been evicted or forced to move under threat of violence.

In one incident, a group of hammer-wielding people ransacked the premises of Xiaoxiaocao Workers' Home at the end of August, according to Radio Free Asia.

“There has been a sustained campaign of harassment of labour NGOs in Shenzhen this year,” China Labour Bulletin spokesman Geoff Crothall told The Reg.

“No one really knows for sure what is behind it but it is most likely an attempt to assert greater control over civil society organisations in the city. But if so they are certainly going about it in a very heavy-handed way.”

The issue has now been taken up by a group of university workers, lawyers and media organisations in China, who have written to the local authorities in Shenzhen and Guangdong province in support of the shuttered NGOs.

Even the usually partisan Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times reported the situation sympathetically.

Ironically enough, provincial authorities in Guangdong actually agreed in July to be the first in China to relax registration rules for NGOs which had been criticised as overly strict.

It’s quite possible that the Shenzhen government regards these advocacy groups as the source of, rather than a potential solution to the growing number of labour disputes across China in recent months.

In any case, with fresh allegations over labour rights violations in tech manufacturing plants emerging on an almost weekly basis, there is obviously a vital role played by NGOs in China. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.