Edited by Sarah Biddulph and Joshua Rosenzweig
Chapter 9: Labor rights in China
Labor activism has played a critical role in the strengthening of basic human rights protections. This chapter provides an overview of China’s changing legal and institutional environment for workers, from the pre-revolutionary era through to today. In particular, this chapter examines recent alterations to the country’s labor laws and reforms to the Communist Party-controlled All China Federation of Trade Unions. Furthermore, the chapter explores shifts in Chinese worker activism along three dimensions: changing demands, changing tactics, and changing organizations. The chapter concludes by delving into questions raised by these dynamics, including the merits of rights- versus interest-based activism and institutional versus extra-institutional approaches to justice.
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