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General Overview on Occupational Disease Conditions in China with Special Reference to Silicosis

Author: Parry Leung and Shek Ping-kwan, Labour Action China, Published on: 2 March 2005

The development of market economy after the launching of the Open Door Policy in 1979 results in massive inflow of foreign direct investment…and are concentrated in the labor-intensive, low-skilled and low end sector. While tapping the cheap and abundant supply of labor in China, they also export environmental pollution as well as work injuries and hazards from the home countries to China... Pneumoconiosis is the most prominent occupational diseases in China taking up 71% of the reported cases of occupational diseases in 2004. The death rate of pneumoconiosis is higher than that of mine explosions and other work injuries…By the end of 2004, there are 580,000 workers having contracted silicosis in China. The number grows by 10,000 every year...Problems faced by Chinese workers on compensation for occupational diseases [include] (1) The 'collective non-intervention' of the local government bodies...(2) Employers use various means to shake off legal responsibilities...(3) Procedures in the litigation process are not favorable to migrant workers.

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