Full Text: Employment and Labor Rights in Xinjiang

White Paper

China issued a white paper on employment and labor rights in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday.

XinhuaUpdated: September 17, 2020

VI. Application of International Labor and Human Rights Standards

Xinjiang implements a proactive employment policy, protects the lawful labor rights and interests of people of all ethnic groups, and strives to provide decent work and a better life for all. This embodies the common values that are championed by the international community, and contributes to safeguarding social fairness and justice and promoting the all-round development of humanity. 

Fulfilling international convention obligations. China is a founding and permanent member state of the International Labour Organization (ILO). China has ratified 26 international labor conventions, including four of the ILO's fundamental conventions -- Equal Remuneration Convention, Minimum Age Convention, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, and Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention. 

China is also a signatory state to a host of UN conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. 

China applies international labor and human rights standards in its legislation, policymaking and policy implementation, to effectively safeguard workers' rights. China prohibits child labor, opposes forced labor, employment discrimination, and workplace sexual harassment, takes targeted actions to combat illegal employment, and prevents and punishes all kinds of violations and crimes concerning employment. In fulfilling their responsibilities to secure employment, local governments at all levels in Xinjiang promote full and high-quality employment for people in different areas, of different ethnic groups, and with different economic conditions, to achieve common development and progress among all ethnic groups. Xinjiang has thus become a successful example of practicing international labor and human rights standards in underdeveloped areas with large populations of ethnic minorities. 

Finding new approaches to eradicating poverty. Ending poverty has been a lasting goal of humanity and a major component of human rights protection. In the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, "ending poverty in all its forms everywhere" tops all other development goals, expressing a pressing demand by the international community to this end. In implementing the 2030 Agenda, China makes it clear that the goal of achieving moderate prosperity in all respects is for its entire people, and that not a single ethnic group is allowed to be lagged behind. Xinjiang protects human rights through development, and strives to eradicate poverty through education and training, capacity building and employment. It effectively prevents and strikes out at terrorism and extremism, and at the same time maintains social stability and improves people's lives, with its impoverished population and poverty incidence markedly reduced. From 2013 to the end of 2019, Xinjiang wiped out poverty in 25 poor counties and 3,107 poor villages, and the poverty incidence dropped from 19.4 percent to 1.24 percent. From 2014 to the end of 2019, a total of 2.92 million people from 737,600 households shook off poverty. By the end of 2020, poverty will be completely eliminated in Xinjiang. Xinjiang has worked out a new approach to addressing some of the global challenges: protecting human rights while combating terrorism and extremism, and pursuing sustainable development while eliminating poverty. 

Responding to the ILO's Decent Work Agenda. The ILO has launched an agenda to promote decent work for all, aiming to achieve all-round human development. The agenda, which is integral to respecting and protecting human rights, embodies the consensus of the international community. The Chinese government always puts people first and has actively responded to the ILO's agenda by implementing the Decent Work Country Program for China (2016-2020) and incorporating the concept of decent work into national policies and development plans. Xinjiang has put into practice relevant policy measures of the national government, focusing in particular on respecting workers' choices, protecting their rights and interests, improving their workplace environment and working conditions, and recognizing their contributions. This ensures that people from all ethnic groups work in a decent environment with freedom, equality, safety, and dignity. Conforming to the Constitution, the Labor Law, and the Employment Promotion Law of the country, and respecting local conditions, Xinjiang has launched a package of effective policy measures to ensure stable employment for all residents. In recent years, Xinjiang's registered urban unemployment rate has remained below 3.5 percent. This enables the local people enjoy the right to work to the greatest extent possible, and has laid a solid foundation for raising the human rights to life and development to a higher level across a broader sphere. 

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