Feeds

Labour groups booted out of China's tech boom town

Workers' woe as Shenzhen NGOs trashed

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.