June 27 2007
Officials in Guangdong are reportedly organizing a joint taskforce to investigate claims that manufacturers in the southern province have been using child labour to manufacture licensed products for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The investigations were sparked by a report released by the PlayFair Alliance, which includes trade unions and labour rights groups. The report alleged that four companies in Guangdong that manufacture licensed goods were using child labour and committing wage and working time violations. Beijing's Olympic organizers announced that they would also investigate manufacturers of licensed products for violations of labour rights.
In a related development a reported 35,000 police officers raided around 7,500 brick kilns in Henan and Shanxi provinces in June, freeing hundreds of people held as forced laborers. The freed individuals reportedly included many children. The raids were prompted by the efforts of 400 fathers in Henan who are believed to have sought help on the Internet in the search for their children after failing to obtain assistance from local law enforcement officers and labour officials. As many as 1,000 children were reportedly forced to work in kilns in Shanxi.
For further information on this topic please contact Andreas Lauffs at Baker & McKenzie's Hong Kong office by telephone (+852 2846 1888) or by fax (+852 2845 0476) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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