August 3, 2007
A new report released by Play Fair 2008 looks at some of the root issues underlying child labour in China, and focuses on the reasons why so many school-going children end up working in factories or on farms. The report explores the links between school fees and child labour, along with the complicity of some school and local authorities in the hiring of these students by factories. It also discusses the problems caused by a lack of transparency with regards to violations, and lack of enforcement mechanisms to guarantee that existing Chinese laws on child labour are followed. The report’s findings demonstrate that child labour is a pervasive problem that extends far beyond any single factory. To address the issues of underage work it is important to tackle the root causes, including the need for the provision of universal access to education, and a tightening of enforcement capabilities for those laws that already exist. “Cutting and running” from a factory where child labour has been found worsens rather than improves the situation for child laborers, and does nothing to tackle the larger issues at play.