China’s ratification of international conventions on forced labor has nothing to do with Western pressure: expert
An unmanned sowing and rolling machine sows cotton in Kuqa County, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, March 26, 2021. Photo: VCG
China has ratified two international conventions against forced labor, the International Labor Organization’s Forced Labor Convention, 1930 and the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention, 1957. Analysts have said that those who use the event to publicize allegations of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region deliberately turn a blind eye. look at China’s decades-long preparations to join the conventions.
The decision to ratify the two international conventions was announced on Wednesday as the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) concluded its 34th session in Beijing.
The Chinese government has attached great importance to the protection of workers’ interests and taken a responsible attitude towards ratifying international conventions on workers’ rights, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday at a meeting. of a press conference.
Wang noted that previous international labor conventions that China has ratified have been implemented. China has always opposed forced labor and the ratification of the two conventions once again showed the firm position of the Chinese government.
In recent days, some Western media have paid particular attention to China’s ratification of the two international conventions, linking the event to the planned visit of UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to the region. China in Xinjiang and allegations of forced labor in the region.
At a press conference on March 9, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights were working on detailed arrangements to Bachelet’s visit to China. He also reiterated China’s consistent stance against the use of this event by some countries for political manipulation.
The timing for China to ratify the two conventions coincides with Bachelet’s visit, but it is not fair to say that the ratification is for the visit of the UN human rights chief to China since for a decade, China plans to sign the conventions and has made comprehensive preparations on laws, policies and practices, said Cao Yan, a professor at the Center for Human Rights Research at Northwest University of Political Science and Law and also labor law expert, to the Global Times on Thursday.
According to a news report by ifeng.com, in February 2007, China held a high-level meeting with the International Labor Organization to discuss China’s ratification of the 1930 Forced Labor Convention.
Having a complete national legal system is the premise of adherence to and best implementation of any international convention. For more than 10 years, China has worked hard to improve its own labor rights protection laws. For example, China now has a labor law, a labor contract law and a labor dispute mediation and arbitration law, Cao said.
Some of the Chinese laws passed in the 1950s and 1960s adopted stricter standards for the protection of women and minority groups than international conventions. However, the Cold War has hampered the pace of China’s accession to the two conventions, Zhu Ying, a professor at the Baize Institute of the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.
Zhu noted that some Western media, anti-China forces and human rights NGOs are using Bachelet’s visit and all possible topics to publicize the forced labor allegations against China. Ratifying international conventions can be seen as China’s response, that is, we have no such thing as forced labor and we are transparent and open to the outside world, Zhu noted.
Cao also refuted the Western media’s hype over allegations of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region, noting that China not only has national laws but also regional regulations to protect workers’ rights. Joining the two international conventions will help counter the gratuitous jurisdiction of the United States to impose sanctions, citing untenable charges.
Ratifying the conventions will also help reduce barriers to labor utilization to promote international trade cooperation, Cao noted.