1 June 2003
Stiffer Penalty on Illegal Child Labour
A circular issued recently calls for the across-the-board enforcement of the Regulations Against the Use of Child Labour. An employment registration and review system for employers is established and heavier punishment will be imposed on the illegal use of child labour.
The circular stipulates that all employers must check the identity card of job applicants and register the details of the employed. The details to be registered include name, sex, place of origin, date of birth, identity card number and labour contract registration number. The employer is required to crosscheck such details and maintain a proper record of the employees for the inspection by the relevant supervisory authority. In case of non-compliance, the department in charge of labour and social security is empowered to order rectification and impose penalty.
The circular also prohibits employment agencies from making job referrals for minors under the age of 16. To protect the legal interests of disabled child labourers, the procedure of making one-off compensation to them must be improved. For arts and sports entities that have to recruit professional artists and sportsmen under the age of 16, there must be clear specifications of the scope of permissible activities which have to be properly monitored. A system preparing the labour force for employment must be implemented so as to raise the quality of the workforce.
The circular further clarifies the definition of "employment units". Employment units barred from using child labour include state organs, social bodies, enterprises, organisations, private non-enterprise entities and individual businesses.
The new regulations, which came into effect on 1 December 2002, bear a significant meaning on overhauling and regulating the order of the market economy, protecting the mental and physical well-being of the minors, and safeguarding the legal rights of young people and children.