Forced child labour: China holds up mirror to US

Chinese FM spokeswoman says US has ratified only two of eight ILO conventions, ranking among world’s bottom

News Desk June 15, 2021
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying attends a news conference in Beijing, China October 9, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

China has once again urged the United States government to take necessary steps to address its chronic issue of forced child labour.

“US has 500,000 child farmworkers, with many working in the tobacco industry,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a tweet on Tuesday.

She said that the US was the only country that hadn’t ratified United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). “Of the eight ILO conventions, the US has ratified only two, ranking among the world’s bottom.”

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has repeatedly shown concern over the US' child labour problem and urged the US government on multiple occasions to take measures to address this issue.

“Using child labour is not only a proof of the US' gross violation of labour rights, but also proof of its double standards on human rights.”

Also read: Together we can eliminate child labour

In addition to the issue of child labour, more than 100,000 people are trafficked into the US for forced labour annually, said the director of Foreign Ministry Information Department of China. “In the past five years, 50 US states and Washington D.C. all reported cases of forced labour and human trafficking,” she added.

For years, ILO has voiced concern over child labour in US and urged its government to solve the problem of forced labour, said Hua.

“Now G7 summit communiqué calls for collective efforts toward eradicating use of ‘forced labour’ in global supply chains. It’s high time US took some actions in response.”


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