Depicting the working conditions of Migrant Workers in China
Over the years, we have accumulated a large number of images that document the nightmarish work conditions experienced by Chinese migrant workers.
These individuals often find themselves trapped in situations that resemble modern-day slavery, as they lack basic protections and are vulnerable to exploitation by employers. In addition to facing precarious living and working conditions, many of these workers are also denied access to social insurance, leaving them with no safety net in the event of illness or injury. These difficult circumstances often take a toll on the physical and mental health of these workers, leading to a range of health problems and making their already challenging lives even more difficult. These images, captured by Matteo Damiani, serve as a powerful reminder of the urgent need to address the human rights abuses that are all too often inflicted upon vulnerable populations around the world.
Migrant workers job condition images
In 2012, there are a reported 167 million migrant workers, but with trends of working closer to home (within their own or a neighboring province） but with a wage drop of 21%. Migrant workers in China are notoriously marginalized, especially by the hukou system of residency permits, which tie one stated residence to all social welfare benefits. Overall, the Chinese government has tacitly supported migration as a means of providing labor for factories and construction sites and for the long term goals of transforming China from a rural-based economy to an urban-based one. [Wikipedia]
Photos by Matteo Damiani [China-Underground.com]
The working condition is one manifest aspect of labor standards violations. The majority of migrants work more hours per day and more days per week than what is limited by labor law.
Safety is another concern regarding the working condition. The prevalence of migrant workers in dangerous jobs results in a high number of work-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths.
Migrant workers make up 80% of the deaths in mining, construction, and chemical factories. And about 90% of those suffering from work-related diseases are migrant workers.
According to an article in China Daily in 2006, nearly 30% of migrant workers earned RMB 300 and 500 on average per month, nearly 40% between RMB 500 and 800 and about 28% more than RMB 800.
The limited access of migrant workers to social insurance highlights their vulnerability.
A survey of migrant workers published in the journal “Public Health Reports” indicated that “forty-seven percent of the migrants were unwilling to make contributions to health insurance,” and “poor living conditions and inattention to health may make migrants vulnerable to poor long-term health.”
Building the CCTV Towers, Beijing
CCTV Towers construction site
Topic: conditions of migrant workers in China