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China's overseas labor protection under "BRI"
Added:2017-04-22     Views:     字体:【big middle small

OSS studies on the overseas labor protection under BRI

an analysis report from Ms. Zhang Yadi, research fellow of OSS International Collaboration Center.

Overseas labor is an important part of the overseas Chinese in China. It has made a great contribution not only to China, but also to the development of the world economy. But their security problems are often ignored and rarely protected as "silent security". China's overseas labor is divided into five types: labor export of foreign contracted projects; Labor service personnel dispatched by a legal person of a domestic enterprise who signs a labor contract with a foreign employer; Personnel dispatched to invest abroad and establish enterprises; Export of labor services through complete sets of equipment and basic exports that require the commissioning, guidance and training of domestic labor service personnel; Export of private labor services. According to statistics, from January to November 2015, China sent 476,000 labor service personnel to foreign labor cooperation. Among them, 237,000 people have been contracted for projects and 239,000 have been sent for labor cooperation. By the end of 2012, China had sent 6.39 million workers of various kinds to foreign labor cooperation. With the comprehensive development of the "One Belt And One Road" strategy, more and more Chinese citizens are going abroad to engage in overseas labor service activities. However, there are many countries along the "One Belt And One Road" strategy, and there are large differences in political structure, economic level and security situation, and the safety problems of overseas workers are increasingly prominent. It is necessary to sort out the risks faced by China's overseas labor under the strategy of "One Belt And One Road", evaluate the risks of various regions along the "One Belt And One Road", and put forward specific Suggestions for the protection system of China's overseas labor.

1. Risk analysis of China's overseas labor under the "One Belt And One Road" strategy

Over 60 countries along the "One Belt And One Road" route have different political and economic systems, different religious beliefs and complex security situations. The risks faced by overseas workers in China can be roughly divided into nine categories: labor disputes, industrial accidents, local Chinese exclusion, hostility/prejudice against China, political unrest in the host country, natural disasters, group incidents, terrorism, imperfect laws and regulations, and illegal workers. It is necessary for our country overseas labor risks in detail, and according to the threat to the type and quantity will be along the area, in this paper, the main areas along the risk is divided into I (almost no risk), II (mild risk), III (medium risk), IV (high risk) and V (high risk), and other five levels.

(a) southeast Asia (II) mild risk)

Labor migration is of concern because it has not only maintained low wage costs, but also attracted foreign investment. The Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand in the region are big exporters of labor. According to the report of China's ministry of commerce, although China's foreign investment in Latin America and Africa has increased substantially in the past five years, it is still mainly concentrated in Asia. Over the past decade, two-way investment between China and asean has increased by us $70 billion, amounting to us $100.7 billion. In 2013, China's direct investment in asean reached us $6 billion. According to a survey by bank of China of Singapore, 60% of Chinese companies plan to invest abroad and choose southeast Asia as their first choice. As a result, the region has more Chinese workers. Although southeast Asia has an open investment environment and loose investment policy, China's overseas workers still face risks. Among them, the most important ones are labor disputes: for example, in 2002, the Singapore wing lung company defrauded foreign exchange, more than 1,000 Chinese workers were injured, and the amount involved was more than 7 million Singapore dollars (about 31.5 million yuan). In July 2015, 153 Chinese loggers were sentenced to life in prison in myanmar for illegal logging and timber smuggling. The economic level of southeast Asian countries is quite different. In developed countries like Singapore, China's overseas workers mainly face the risk of being cheated by labor intermediary and local enterprises. In less developed countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and myanmar, overseas workers are likely to experience criminal offenses caused by labor disputes (unpaid wages) and unfamiliar local laws. In countries with anti-china ties, such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, overseas workers may be affected by local anti-china sentiment.

(b) east Asia (II) mild risk)

It mainly involves Korea and Japan. China is the largest source of overseas labor for Japan. Japan mainly accepts foreign workers through the alien training system and the skills internship system. Therefore, foreign workers in Japan are also called trainees. However, the trainees in Japan are not protected by law, so the safety incidents of Chinese trainees frequently occur. The main safety incidents they encountered included poor working environment and frequent industrial accidents. The trainees of some enterprises often work overtime every day for the whole year in violation of local laws. The students' working and living conditions are rather harsh. According to the JITCO, there were 1,109 foreign trainees who suffered work-related injuries in 2013, and 705 Chinese students. In South Korea, there were more than 700,000 long-term Chinese citizens in the country in 2012, of whom more than 400,000 were migrant workers. Most of their work is in construction, manufacturing and service industries, known as "dangerous, difficult and highly polluting". Relatively speaking, there are many industrial accidents. Secondly, because a large number of Chinese people illegally stay in South Korea and become illegal workers, their legitimate rights and interests cannot be guaranteed, which is accompanied by security risks such as wage arrears, exploitation and abuse.

(iii) central Asian countries (IV higher risk)

Political unrest or demonstrations in the host country are the biggest threat to overseas workers: a series of peaceful and non-violent regime change movements began in central Asia and cis countries at the end of last century. There is still the possibility of political instability in these countries in the future: the political situation in uzbekistan is changing a lot, the political struggle in kyrgyzstan is obvious, the "gerontocracy" in kazakhstan is prominent, especially in 2016, when central Asian countries will hold a new round of elections, and some countries are bound to change their governments. In March 2005, the political situation in kyrgyzstan suddenly changed, and there was riots in the capital. More than 10 Chinese were injured, and more than 200 Chinese businesses were robbed, causing losses of up to 8 million us dollars. In June 2010, riots in kyrgyzstan's southern osh region hit Chinese nationals. Secondly, the personal security threats caused by group incidents: on October 21, 2012, a large-scale brawl between Chinese workers and kyrgyz residents took place. On January 9, 2015, 33 Chinese laborers were illegally detained in kazakhstan. On July 8, 2015, more than 100 people were involved in a vicious mass brawl between kazakh and Chinese workers at a project site in aktogai, eastern kazakhstan. On November 12, 2015, a number of Chinese laborers were detained by kyrgyz police for demonstrating. Third, the laws and regulations of the central Asian countries are not perfect: most of the central Asian countries have not joined the WTO, their domestic economic systems are not sound enough, and their markets are not standardized enough. The department of consular affairs of the ministry of foreign affairs in particular reminded labor workers in the region to pay attention to their identities, complete certificates and the qualification certification of labor intermediaries. Fourth, terrorism is on the rise: there have been a number of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan in recent years. The U.S. state department's ambassador for counterterrorism coordination, Tina kaino, said 2014 saw a 35 percent increase in global terrorist attacks and an 81 percent increase in deaths compared with 2013, largely because of increased terrorist activity in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria. On June 10, 2004, 11 workers were killed in a terrorist attack on the construction site of China railway no.14 bureau in Afghanistan. Fifth, many ordinary people in central Asia remain prejudiced against China during the period of confrontation between China and the Soviet union and are relatively hostile to China: according to a survey, nearly 70 percent of people believe China poses the greatest threat to kazakhstan's economy, and there is such vigilance in uzbekistan. In terms of countries, the first thing to prevent in this region is the political turmoil in kyrgyzstan, uzbekistan, kazakhstan and other countries, which is obviously harmful to China's foreign investment, foreign aid and labor export under the "One Belt And One Road" strategy. Secondly, we should pay attention to the terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. We should strengthen the protection of overseas workers and protect them from terrorism. We will once again enhance our understanding with kazakhstan, uzbekistan and other countries and eliminate their misunderstanding and hostility towards China.

(iv) South Asia (III) medium risk)

It is a densely populated area with frequent natural disasters. On April 25, 2015, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake hit Nepal. The Chinese embassy responded quickly and organized a special plane to evacuate Chinese citizens from Nepal. There is also a threat of terrorism in the region: the special geographical location of Pakistan has led to the prevalence of al-qaida in Pakistan and the frequent bombings and attacks. On February 15, 2006, three people were killed in an attack on an engineer at a Chinese design institute. The rampant terrorism has brought great risks to the security of our overseas citizens and foreign investment. Third, opposition from some countries will influence policies towards Chinese workers: India has always taken a cooperative and highly vigilant stance towards the "One Belt And One Road" strategy for the sake of practical interests. India expelled more than 20,000 Chinese workers as early as October 31, 2009. In South Asia, the country most closely connected with China's foreign investment and trade is Pakistan. On the other hand, reduce India's wariness of our country so as not to harm our overseas workers.

(v) west Asia and north Africa (III) medium risk)

Because of its religion, ethnic groups, violent conflicts and active religious extremist forces, ISIS is a region where terrorist attacks are frequent. The birthplace of ISIS is Syria, which has spread to Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and other countries. In 2015, fan jinghui, a Chinese citizen, was brutally killed by ISIS. Iraq's largest oil refinery was attacked and occupied by ISIS militants on June 18, 2014. On May 16, 2010, two CNPC oil workers were hijacked by local armed analysts. On April 11, 2004, seven Chinese laborers were abducted by armed analysis. Second, political unrest or demonstrations in the host country: on February 15, 2011, a large scale protest was held in benghazi, Libya's second largest city. There were serious clashes between local police and protesters. In 2012, 25 Chinese skilled workers were kidnapped by locals after clashes between local rebel groups and the Egyptian government. On March 29, 2015, a number of Arab countries carried out military operations against yemen, and the situation was extremely unstable. Nearly 600 Chinese citizens were trapped in yemen. Anti-china sentiment: Turkey is a secular, democratic Muslim country with peace and security in western Asia, but on July 4, 2015, millions of Turkish demonstrators staged protests against China in the old city of Istanbul. In west Asia and north Africa, our most important task is to guard against the threat of terrorism in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and other countries to the security of our businesses and workers. Secondly, we should pay attention to the unstable political situation in Libya, yemen and other countries, as well as possible street demonstrations, protests and other group events.

(6) central and eastern Europe (I have little risk)

The problem of illegal labor is more serious. Most countries in this region are members of the European Union, and their economies are relatively advanced. In particular, labor shortages in the Czech republic, Poland and Romania in recent years have attracted large Numbers of illegal Chinese workers. According to a survey by the romanian trade union's national trade union group, 4,100 Chinese worked legally in Romania in 2008, accounting for 37 percent of foreign workers, second only to Turkish workers. Between 2007 and 2009, the country's largest case of illegal organized labor workers working abroad occurred in Romania, involving up to 200 workers. Security risks in the region are mainly concentrated on illegal Labour in the Czech republic, Poland and Romania. Our investments in cis countries (with the exception of central Asian states) are concentrated in Russia, Ukraine and belarus. According to the data of the Russian statistics bureau in 2012, China ranks the 10th among the countries' accumulative direct investment in Russia, with its investment mainly focused on mining, forestry, energy, trade and construction. There is a serious illegal labor phenomenon in this region. On April 8, 2012, several Chinese illegal workers were arrested in Russia. On May 21, 2013, Russian police found 110 illegal Chinese laborers in a factory. In January 2015, Russian police detained 90 illegal Chinese laborers. Ulaanke has a high threshold for foreign workers. According to the labor and social policy employment center of Ukraine, there were 273 Chinese workers in Ukraine in 2003, but China's labor export to Ukraine has been on an upward trend since 2007, reaching over 500. But as a result of the country's economic situation, there are more labor disputes: Chinese workers who came to work on construction sites in Ukraine in 2008 were trapped in Ukraine because of unpaid wages at Ukrainian companies. The china-belarus industrial park, which was founded in 2014, is China's largest overseas industrial park. At that time, a large number of Chinese workers will travel to belarus, and their safety cannot be ignored. China's overseas labor and foreign investment are mainly concentrated in Russia, Ukraine and belarus in the region. Most of its security threats are over illegal labor and labor disputes. With the construction of the china-belarus industrial park, new security problems may emerge in the future.

Ii. Risk response of China's overseas labor protection under the "One Belt And One Road" strategy

(1) to change the traditional thinking of consular protection, "emphasizing emergency rather than routine".

From the civil unrest in kyrgyzstan in 2005 to the multinational military operations against yemen in 2015, China experienced 14 overseas evacuation operations. Most of the emigrants in the evacuation are overseas workers. Take the Libyan evacuation in 2011 as an example. By the end of 2011, China had 35,000 immigrants in Libya, most of them in the fields of energy, transportation and communications. In 2014, the global consular protection and service emergency call center of the ministry of foreign affairs was established, but its core was emergency, which took into account daily consular protection and consultation. Public data show that the vast majority of the safety problems of overseas workers involve day-to-day rights protection. Every year, 24% of disputes between local employers outside China and workers from China are related to employers' failure to pay Chinese workers' wages, and 20% are related to unjustified dismissal, wage withholding, forced resignation and personal humiliation. The urgent evacuation of overseas Chinese cannot meet the daily protection of rights that overseas workers most need, and cannot protect the safety of overseas workers in all aspects. The Chinese government should pay more attention to the protection of the daily rights and interests of overseas workers and actively provide effective information and help in the process of labor rights protection. In countries or regions with high security risks under the "One Belt And One Road" strategy, legal and social workers can be stationed to resolve the labor disputes that labor encounters daily and protect their rights and interests. Or encourage the overseas labor of our country to participate in the local trade union organization, negotiate with the capital side, solve the problem of daily rights protection timely.

(2) establish overseas labor safety management institutions and improve the early-warning system of laws and regulations.

1. Establish a special agency for overseas labor management as soon as possible. In China, the overseas employment management functions of the former ministry of labor and social security were merged into the ministry of commerce in 2008. The ministry of commerce, together with the ministry of public security, the ministry of foreign affairs, the state administration of industry and commerce, the state administration of transport and other departments, administers the handling of migrant workers' immigration, labor disputes or emergencies abroad. The foreign ministry's consular division is responsible for the safety of overseas workers. In 2004, the ministry of foreign affairs established the department of foreign-related security affairs. In November of the same year, the "inter-ministerial joint conference on the safety protection of Chinese citizens and institutions abroad", led by the ministry of foreign affairs, was established. The department comprises 26 foreign-related ministerial-level agencies and military departments, including the ministry of foreign affairs, the ministry of commerce, the ministry of education, the national tourism administration, the ministry of public security and the ministry of transport. There is also an "emergency office". In 2006, the ministry of foreign affairs established another consular protection office in the department of consular affairs. In 2007, the foreign ministry upgraded the consular protection office to the "China consular protection center" in order to better protect the safety of Chinese overseas citizens. Although there are many departments, the functions are repeated, which involve decentralization of departments and low efficiency, leading to multiple management and unclear rights and responsibilities. Our country should set up specifically responsible for the daily management of overseas labor agencies as soon as possible in order to actively play industry regulations (such as audit strictly the overseas labor service agency, set the minimum labor standards, etc.), promotion of employment (there can be a guidance to the laborers to good security situation in the country or region), to the laborers to effectively protect (before training, for the damaged rights and interests of workers to provide legal aid, etc.) and provide related welfare (provide loans, free medical, life insurance and person accident injury insurance, etc.). Such institutions can play a key role in monitoring developments in overseas labor and social welfare laws, ensuring fair treatment for migrant workers, helping overseas workers obtain medical assistance, and controlling the illegal recruitment of workers.

2. Promptly formulate laws and regulations on the safety protection of overseas labor. At present, there is no special law for overseas labor rights and safety protection. Although the state council, the ministry of foreign affairs, the ministry of commerce and the former ministry of labor all have relevant laws and regulations, they lack unity, standardization, compulsion, serious fragmentation and low efficiency. The regulations on the administration of foreign labor cooperation issued in 2012 clearly stipulate that labor rights and interests are infringed upon, but the legal system of foreign-related labor management is still insufficient. The government should actively invest in legal construction to protect the safety of overseas workers, and formulate and promulgate a comprehensive regulation on overseas labor dispatch, management and protection as soon as possible. The content should be specific, detailed and operable.

3. Promote humanized service of early warning mechanism. The consular protection and early warning mechanism is to timely release the warning information concerning overseas security to the public through various channels to prevent or reduce the occurrence of the crisis, and to strengthen education and training for overseas citizens and enterprises operating overseas, so as to improve the crisis response capability of overseas citizens and enterprises. The website of the ministry of foreign affairs of China and the website of the ministry of commerce of China both have warnings of security risks. In 2000, the ministry of foreign affairs also published the publicity manual of the guide on consular protection and service outside China for the first time, which was revised six times in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2015. However, these early warning information and service information are not well-targeted, simple and comprehensive in content, which is less helpful to the safety problems encountered by labor migration, and far from enough to study the international labor market. A unified network of international labor information transmission should be established as soon as possible, and the labor and employment conditions, immigration status and compliance with international standards on human rights and labor rights of specific countries should be published regularly so as to enable workers to make wise decisions and make adequate preparations when they go out for work. In terms of training, although the regulations on the safety management of overseas chinese-funded enterprises and personnel formulated by the ministry of commerce clearly stipulate that foreign-related enterprises must send external personnel for safety education training, the training mechanism is not perfect and the training effect is not ideal. Relevant responsible departments shall organize and arrange migrant workers to attend various training courses, including working skills, customs and customs of local countries, and relevant languages. After the training, the migrant workers will have a systematic and comprehensive understanding and understanding before their departure, so as to reduce the security risk of going abroad and reduce consular protection cases.

(3) to participate in global governance of labor migration and integrate into regional cooperation mechanisms.

First of all, actively participate in relevant activities of the United Nations, the international labor organization and the international organization for migration on the protection of the safety and rights of migrant workers. The three most important international conventions for the protection of migrant workers abroad are the ilo convention on migrant employment (No.97) of 1949 and the migrant workers (supplementary provisions) convention of 1975 (No.143) and the international convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and their family members, adopted by the United Nations general assembly in 1990. The 1998 ilo declaration on fundamental principles and rights in the workplace set out four fundamental rights for migrant workers: freedom of association, the abolition of all forms of forced Labour, the elimination of child Labour and the abolition of discrimination; In 2004, the 92nd session of the international Labour assembly held a general discussion on migrant workers and adopted a resolution on equitable treatment of migrant workers in the global economy, which called for the international Labour organization to develop a plan of action on migration through Labour. The plan of action establishes a multilateral framework for rights-based Labour migration. The framework covers the protection of migrant workers, the effective management of migrant workers and the international cooperation of migrant workers. Our country should also actively use the international labor organization, the international organization for migration, international migration global committee, international migration group, immigration and development of the global problems BBS, international migration and development of high-level dialogue and relevant international organizations and global dialogue platform to protect the overseas labor migration in our country, and make great efforts to protect foreign workers international institutionalization, strive for the position of our country.

Second, actively participate in regional cooperation mechanisms. The issue of labor migration has always been one of the core issues of asean. January 13, 2007, the association of south-east Asian nations (asean) summit signed southeast Asia the first declaration of the association of south-east Asian nations (asean) to protect and improve overseas Labour rights, this is the first in southeast Asia files related to the protection of labor migration, the declaration is intended to promote the communication between the output of labor migration and importer, promote labor migration of basic rights and dignity. In September 2008, asean launched BBS for better implementation of the declaration on the protection and improvement of the rights of overseas workers and the rights of migrant workers. In 2009, asean leaders signed the asean community 2009-2015 roadmap declaration, which "emphasized the importance of protecting the rights of migrant workers." In 2012, the eighth asean labor senior officials' meeting was held in phnom penh. The meeting discussed cross-border labor, social security and work environment security. In the same year, the 22nd asean Labour ministers' meeting and the 7th asean "10 + 3" Labour minister meeting decided in the improvement of social security of regional cooperation and skills development, effectively perform the declaration of the association of south-east Asian nations (asean) to protect and improve overseas Labour rights, the association of south-east Asian nations (asean) secretary of labor work plan (2010 ~ 2015) ", "the association of south-east Asian nations (asean)" 10 + 3 "labor secretary work plan (2010 ~ 2015)". China should actively carry out exchanges with asean member states under the framework of 10+3, participate in the BBS and labor ministers' meeting of asean migrant workers, and learn from the protection experience of asean labor exporting countries.

Third, we need to increase bilateral agreements to protect overseas labor groups in a more targeted way. The common international practice of protecting the safety of migrant workers is the framework agreement, memorandum of understanding and declaration of mutual cooperation on the protection of foreign workers. Under the strategy of "One Belt And One Road", China should sign bilateral agreements or conduct informal bilateral consultations with countries with higher risk levels or with more labor export, which can provide more flexible and pragmatic protection for China's overseas labor migration.

Three, endnotes

The "One Belt And One Road" strategy runs through the Eurasian continent and covers many comprehensive areas such as politics, economy, diplomacy and security. The security situation of China's overseas workers is becoming increasingly complex. Today, with the continuous development of the "One Belt And One Road" strategy, strengthening the protection of China's overseas workers and realizing the positive safety of overseas workers is one of the keys to the successful implementation of China's "One Belt And One Road" strategy and one of the important manifestations of China's "people-oriented" diplomatic concept. Based on the analysis of the main risks and threats faced by various regions under China's overseas labor "One Belt And One Road" strategy, the Chinese government can improve the concept, system construction and bilateral/multilateral cooperation of overseas labor safety protection system in a more targeted way. At the same time, foreign workers under the international labor migration in our country an important part of our country government should be more use of global multilateral organizations, international organizations, international law and international rules to protect the interests of the workers overseas, in the labor immigration more global governance increases its own voice, and the further cooperation of countries along the partnership, eliminate misunderstandings in China, other countries for our foreign workers weave a comprehensive security protection network, and for our country enterprise overseas investment to build a good international political environment.

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