Home » Feature » Freedom of Association under Siege: the Predicaments of China’s Labour NGOs

Freedom of Association under Siege: the Predicaments of China’s Labour NGOs

In China, the state-sponsored All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) enjoys a monopolistic status and pre-empts the establishment of any autonomous or independent workers’ unions. Most workers view ACFTU as a part of the Government or management machinery.  Although they claim to have a membership of 200 million workers, the biggest union in the world, they seldom flex its muscles in defending workers’ rights, mobilizes them in industrial action. In fact, most of its officers are not directly elected, but are appointed by the authorities or the management. As resulted, labour NGOs proliferate to act on behalf of the workers, especially the migrant labours in the developed coastal area while after China has opened its market, there are more and more migrant workers without protection and facing a lots hardship in their life. Being perceived as threats to their interests, the labour NGOs are coerced by both the state and private entities, even the ACFTU.

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