Every child should have a safe and carefree childhood, with the opportunity to receive the education they need and deserve so they can live a bright future, leaving their imprint on society by working to improve the lives of themselves and others around them. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury to live in an economically stable environment, as the case of thousands/millions of Chinese children. As a result, they are forced or coerced into working in large factories under the minimum wage and age of working. On average, these children work at least 6 hours or more per day, which is the amount of time children attend school daily. Usually, children who are involved in labor worked 6.75 hours per day on average, and spent 6.42 hours less per day on study than children who are not. The school dropout rate for children who are working was 11.57%, and this was 9.6% higher than that for the children who are not working.
Despite the implementation of the Miniomum Age Convention on 28th April 1999 and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention on 8th August 2002 to combat child labour, China still faces this problem and there has been little change evident. According to statistics produced by China that reflect a decrease in child labour, this does not change the stark conditions these children must face daily as they face exploitation. If anything, their working conditions have worsened as they face labourintesive jobs, being beaten when they misbehave and only receiving their payments at the end of the year.
Areas of work such as apparel manufacturing result in Chinese children being imported to different states to work labour intensive jobs, as they are the only workers willing to accept the unfair work situations, standards and payments.
Chinese children have been imported to complete labourinstensive jobs, as they are the only workers willing to accept the underrate pay that factories offer.
Some conditions they face:
- They are forced to work 28 days a month
- They are beaten when they
An example of importing children is that a large portion of more than 1,000 apparel manufacturers in Changshu, a location rich in cultural artifacts, import children from Yunna province. Workers can be under the age of 16.
According to the Chinese Law, an employee under the age of 16 is defined as a child labourer. Economic causes and impacts of this issue on the region causes:
- Falling standards of education
- Lack of access of education
- Not enough incentive to attend
- Not enough money for poor families to keep all their children in school
- Tricked into work by relatives or family
- Pressure or approval of their parents (for economic reasons)
In the Jiangxi study mentioned earlier it was found that all the children found working were from families experiencing economic difficulties
- Large section of population slipping further into poverty
- Gap between rich and poor increasing steadily
Components that cause economic struggle (economic reforms are creating poverty not wealth and at the same time the safety net of social security is both inadequate and underdeveloped due to lack of investment and the financial crisis of many local governments, in part caused by corruption)
- Rising living cost
- Mass layoffs
- Dramatic reduction in social services
- Medical benefits
- Food subsidies
Decline in the Danwei system (which guaranteed accommodation and other benefits)
Much greater number of people who are desperate for the extra income a child would provide
Areas with high unemployment/ rural/semi-rural areas which generally have seen little income increases for rural citizens
Child labour labout then becomes and intrinsic part of ecnomic survival, depsite the low wage they will receive
Rapid rural-to-urban migration has added to the increase of child labour in urban areas
Families leave severe agricultural work conditions for the city, for economic opportunities
Drastic increases, lack of regular employment, education and accessible social security often forces children and their families io urban poverty and children are then required to work
Technological and Environmental causes & impacts of this issue on the region
There are also other issues as well as impacts that contribute to the increase of child labour in China. Technological impacts are one of the influences of the demanding use of a child to do laborious jobs, instead of receiving an education. For example, Apple has discovered multiple cases of child labour in its supply chain, including one Chinese company that employed 74 children under the age of 16, in the latest controversy over the technology giant’s manufacturing methods. An internal audit found a flipside to the western consumer’s insatiable thirst for innovative and competitively priced gadgets. It uncovered 106 cases of underage labour being used at Apple suppliers last year and 70 cases historically. The report follows a series of worker suicides over working conditions at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles must-have products such as the iPad and iPhone, and lethal explosions at other plants.
Apple’s annual supplier report – which monitors nearly 400 suppliers – found that children were employed at 11 factories involved in making its products. A number of them had been recruited using forged identity papers. One Chinese supplier, a circuit board component maker called Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics, was axed by Apple after 74 children under the age of 16 were recruited to work on its production lines. According to Apple, the children had been knowingly supplied by one of the region’s largest labour agencies, Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources. Its investigators found that the agency conspired with families to forge identification documents. Apple did not disclose the ages of the children involved, but its code of conduct states it will not employ workers under the age of 15, or under the legal working age in any jurisdiction – which is 16 in China
Another major influence that contributes to child poverty is the environmental impacts, the situation of migrant workers. Hundreds of millions of them leave the countryside every year to find work in the city and often have to leave their children behind. Many of them now also leave their rural homes straight after school and engage in strenuous labour (assembly line, construction sector) that will scar their body for life because of their young age, not to mention work-related hazards (lack of proper protection, excessive working hours). Within only a few years, many of these kids start suffering from conditions that usually affect people over 60-70 years old. Generally, children who suffer from child labour live in poor conditions and their families are unable to sustain them, this is one of the main reasons in why many parents send their children off to work because of the extremely poor conditions they live in.
The government has seen the causes and the impacts of child labour happening, the slander and the mean tweets are happening, yet nothing has been done. Knowing that the children are forced to work because they’re poor, knowing they have limited resources, KNOWING that an issue such as this could be easily prevented and solved easily.