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Discrimination in China, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 731

Essay

China is rated as a rapidly developing economy based on global standards and also the largest beneficiary of the global foreign direct investment. Most of the global companies have decided to invest in China through a movement of their production to the country. The companies are motivated by the generous incentives of work, availability of cheap labor and high rates of productivity that are available in China.   The work force in China is extremely cheap as compared to other countries due to the availability of immigrants who come from the rural areas. Due to the poverty level of these immigrants, they usually encounter different forms of discrimination ranging from their dignity, basic rights, housing and health services (James, 2006).

The working conditions in the industries that offer employment to these people are also extremely poor and this is another manifestation of discrimination as an important business ethics concept. The poor working conditions have been documented to prevail in in industrial sectors where the population of immigrant populations is high and foreign investment is prominent. The most probable cause of discriminating against the migrant workers is because they are poor and they have moved from the rural areas in search for a better future. The trend of unemployment along with underemployment is also is on the increase in the rural areas and this is a contributor of extreme poverty in these regions. This prompts the migrants to move far to the industrial regions in the cities to look for jobs which are usually associated with significantly high financial risks (Richard, 2004). It is a sad observation that this vulnerable population of workers is subjected to discrimination in major areas. The urban society, the existing government policies and their employers, all play a role in advancing discrimination against the migrant workers despite the crucial role they play in the economy of the country. The migrant workers are perceived as being inferior relative to the urban people. They have suffered institutional exclusion by the local government.

Diversity in China is limited in the context of business. The population of China is currently in the range of 1.2 billion and this is a significant contributor to the absence of diversity in as far as business is concerned (Tan, 2005). However, diversity in China is seen from the perspective of different regions that the workers come from and this is the reason that the immigrants face discrimination in the workplace.

Immigrants are therefore forced to accept the worst jobs which are offered in unregulated conditions and marked with low wages, harsh treatments and excessively long working hours. Although labor laws exist in China, the immigrants do not derive any protection offered by the laws. The discrimination issue denies them access to knowledge about their rights and the needed confidence to demand for their rights (Ashabranner, 1993).  They cannot also afford the high costs associated with litigation. They cannot also access labor organizations and the services of labor inspectors who offer their services with incompetence.

Migrant workers are increasing in numbers as most of them opt to stay permanently in the cities and invite more of their relatives from the rural areas. The table below indicates the trend of migration in China based on age

The table below indicates workforce & employment Statistics in 1000 in China

China:  Workforce & Employment Statistics in 1000

 

Workforce Dec 2007, per CIA World Factbook

807,700

 

 

Annual growth rate +

1.6%
 

Estimated Dec 2008:   Consisting of:

820,600

 

771,300 49,300

 

6.0 %
 

Migrant workforce

150,000

 

127,500 22,500 15.0%
 

All others

670,600

 

643,800 26,800

 

4.00%

 

The table indicates that the migrant population has a significant contribution to the labor force in China. Consequently, it is prudent to accord them more support with respect to provision of essential services of education, health and housing. A careful consideration of the contribution of the immigrants in the industrial workforce and the general economy of the country necessitates a careful consideration of their welfare and an end to discrimination against them.

References

Ashabranner, B., (1993). Still a Nation of Immigrants. N Y: Cobblehill Books.

James, A. G., (2006). “Holes in the Rights Framework: Racial Discrimination, Citizenship, & the Rights of Noncitizens”. Ethics & International Affairs 20 (3):321–347.

Richard, W., (2004). “Rights, Human Rights, & Racial Discrimination”. Journal of Philosophy Issue 61 Vol 20.

Tan, M. G., (2005). “Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia”. Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant & Refugee Cultures around the World. New York.

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