China / Society

Boy's sudden death prompts campaign against child labor

By Zheng Caixiong In Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-26 07:59

The sudden death of a 14-year-old boy at a factory in Foshan city, Guangdong province, has triggered a citywide campaign against the exploitation of child laborers in the Pearl River Delta hub.

The campaign, which started on Monday, was launched by the Foshan bureau of human resources and social security and aims to protect young workers in the densely populated production base in the southern province.

Labor-intensive manufacturing industries - including the garment, shoe, food and metal industries - plus hotels and restaurants will be the major targets of the special campaign, according to a statement from the bureau.

"Those who violate laws and regulations will be seriously punished," it said.

Under the current law, it is illegal to employ a worker under the age of 16.

The crackdown follows the April 11 death of 14-year-old Wang Pan, who died suddenly at home after having been employed by a local lingerie factory for more than a month in Foshan's Nanhai district.

At about 6 am on April 11, Wang lost consciousness at the home his mother rents. He was pronounced dead after being taken to a nearby hospital.

Wang's mother, who is surnamed Kuang, said she believes her son may have died of overwork.

"Wang used to work at the lingerie factory for 11 or 12 hours a day," said Kuang, a migrant worker from Qidong county in Hunan province.

Wang's employer, Foshan Accor, has admitted employing an underage worker and reached an agreement with Kuang to pay compensation of 150,000 yuan ($23,000).

Local police are also conducting their own investigation.

Part of that probe will be to determine the cause of death.

Hot Topics