The Voices and Protests of China’s Labour NGOs and Their Effort to Promote Migrant Worker Rights

Discussion Papers

No.508

by YAMAGUCHI Mami

March 2015

ABSTRACT

Labour NGOs in China are relatively new organizations that emerged in the 1990s and have spread during the 2000s. Migrant workers in China are weak both socially and economically and have been lacking ways of voicing grievances and protesting. Grassroots labour NGOs for migrant workers seem to be an efficient channel for their voices.
This paper examines how labour NGOs emerged and how they function in the context of current Chinese society. This paper adopts the case study method to describe three NGOs in Beijing and Shenzhen. The paper shows that these NGOs are using different methods to resolve migrant worker problems. At the same time, they are voicing the migrants’ grievances and protesting in their own ways.

Keywords:  China, migrant worker, labour NGOs
JEL classification:  J46, J83, Z13

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