Protection of Migrant Workers under New Chinese Labour Law: A Critical Review

Henry Asante Antwi, Christine Nana Tiwaa Buamah, Xinglong Xu


Migrant workers in China largely consist of foreigners and a large number of its citizens holding rural household registration but have migrated to cities or towns to seek greener pastures. Each year nearly 3% of rural folks arrive in major cities to seek a better life. This is equal to the annual population growth of China in general. Most of these migrant workers are woman from poorer western provinces, whose preoccupation is to support their families back home. Typically, migrant workers in China like other countries also face harsh labour conditions in their employment including underpayment, wage default, long working hours. With the support of international bodies such as ILO, Human Right Watch and a vibrant media, the Chinese government continues to outline and promote different layers of policies and regulatory framework to prevent worker marginalisation and exploitation. This paper explores the context and application of the New Labour Law in China and its implication for worker protection in a globalised economy. We conclude by exploring potential areas for amendment and improvement to harness its total benefits

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