China: 14 year-old boy working at Foshan Zhiya factory found dead, raises concerns on child labour once again
"[T]he not yet 15 years old Wang Pan went to work at Zhiya…[O]n the morning of April 11th, Wan Pan was discovered unconscious in a room he had rented, and was declared dead on the scene by a doctor…Wang Pan’s relatives have suspicions that his death was related to excessive overtime at the factory…Zhiya, has only been fined 10,000 Yuan, and has yet to be punished for anything else…"
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Alibaba and SGS to respond to the following items:
- "SGS and Alibaba Both Ought to be Held Responsible for the Death of a Child Laborer", China Labor Watch, 5 May 2015: http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/newscast/601
- "SGS与阿里巴巴都应为童工之死承担责任", China Labor Watch, 5 May 2016: http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/cn/newscast/601
Alibaba's response is below. We will indicate on this page whether SGS also responds.
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"Child labor, and labor abuse in any way, shape or form, is a serious legal and ethical violation which Alibaba Group does not condone. Alibaba enforces strict rules and policies and requires all third-party sellers to abide by applicable law on our marketplaces, including 1688.com. We are appalled and saddened by the alleged acts of the factory in question, which has been banned permanently from 1688.com. We will continue to work closely with international auditing bodies, relevant Chinese government and law enforcement authorities to curb and combat this grave societal problem.”
- Related stories: China: 14 year-old boy working at Foshan Zhiya factory found dead, raises concerns on child labour once again
- This is a response from the following companies: Alibaba.com
Author: China Labor Watch
Recently, the Chinese media exposed an incident wherein a child laborer suddenly died on April 11th in Foshan, Guangdong. At the same time, the media has also put pressure on the Zhiya Undergarment Company for the moral and human rights questions in its employment of child labor. Upon conducting its own follow up and confirmation efforts, China Labor Watch also calls into question the veracity and social responsibility of the third party factory inspection carried out by the Alibaba operated SGS. Alibaba and its affiliate Alibaba Taofactory are one of the primary sources of orders for Zhiya. Alibaba and SGS’s factory inspection and examination are completely ineffective and surface level, paying little attention to the human rights situation and environment present at its suppliers, as well as lacking standards and norms.
…This sudden death of a child laborer has exposed Alibaba and Zhiya’s mechanism for checking standards is unsound, as well as serious problems with transparency in the supply chain. The Alibaba Group’s understanding of supply chain management and social responsibility clearly lag behind modern standards…The inspections carried out by SGS focus on product quality, ignoring the human rights conditions…
Author: Xinhua (China) [translated by China Labor Watch]
…According to a report from the Nanhai District Human Resources and Social Protection Bureau, on March 5th of this year, the not yet 15 years old Wang Pan went to work at Zhiya through his mother, Kuang Liangqin’s connections…[O]n the morning of April 11th, Wan Pan was discovered unconscious in a room he had rented, and was declared dead on the scene by a doctor… Zhiya Underwear Company, Ltd [has agreed to]…give a one-time payment and burial subsidy to…Wang Pan’s Family…for the death of Wang Pan, totaling 150,000 Yuan in all…
Wang Pan’s relatives have suspicions that his death was related to excessive overtime at the factory. Many workers at Zhiya informed our reporters that usually the hours worked were from 8 am – 12 pm; then continuing from 1 pm until getting off work at 6 pm; at 6:30 pm, overtime starts, working until 9 or 10 pm. Every month workers only have two days off….Yet…the Nanhai District Human Resources and Social Protection Bureau [says] there had yet to be conclusive evidence that excessive overtime takes place at Zhiya…
Zhiya, has only been fined 10,000 Yuan, and has yet to be punished for anything else…
Author: 欧甸丘、周颖、胡林果, 新华网