Data Dashboards

China
Measurement
Measuring the Change

using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.

Due to lack of nationally representative data, there is no change to report.

%
Best Target 8.7 Data: Child Labour Rate

No data available

Data Availability
  • Child labour: No ILO/UNICEF data
  • Forced labour: No nationally representative data
  • Human trafficking: No nationally representative data
Context
Human Development

Human Development Index Score: 0.758 (2018)

Mean School Years: 7.9 years (2018)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 43.8% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: 0.4% (2020)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not Ratified
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2002
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Accession 2010
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): 67.4% (2017)

Unemployed: 23.1% (2017)

Pension: 100% (2017)

Vulnerable: 27.1% (2016)

Children: 2.2% (2016)

Disabled: No data

Poor: 51.6% (2016)

Measurement of child labour prevalence has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Estimates of child labour incidence are more robust and exist for more countries than any other form of exploitation falling under SDG Target 8.7.

No nationally representative data is available on child labour prevalence in China.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on ILO-SIMPOC methods and guidelines for defining, measuring and collecting data on child labour.

Measuring the incidence of forced labour is a much more recent endeavour and presents unique methodological challenges compared to the measurement of child labour.

No nationally representative data is available on forced labour prevalence in China.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on new guidelines presented by the International Labour Organization and adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

The challenges in estimating human trafficking are similar to those of estimating forced labour, though recent innovations in estimation have begun to produce prevalence estimates in developed countries.

No nationally representative data is available on human trafficking prevalence in China.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page to learn about measuring human trafficking prevalence, including information on collecting data through national referral mechanisms and producing prevalence statistics using Multiple Systems Estimation (MSE).

Case Data: International and Non-Governmental Organizations

Civil society organizations (CSOs) focused on human trafficking victim assistance can serve as crucial sources of data given their ability to reach a population that is notoriously difficult to sample.

Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC): The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Polaris and Liberty Asia have launched a global data repository on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world. Not only does the CTDC serve as a central repository for this critical information, it also publishes normed and harmonized data from various organizations using a unified schema. This global dataset facilitates an unparalleled level of cross-border, trans-agency analysis and provides the counter-trafficking movement with a deeper understanding of this complex issue. Equipped with this information, decision makers will be empowered to create more targeted and effective intervention strategies.

Prosecution Data

UNODC compiles a global dataset on detected and prosecuted traffickers, which serves as the basis in their Global Report for country profiles. This information is beginning to paint a picture of trends over time, and case-specific information can assist investigators and prosecutors.

Key aspects of human development, such as poverty and lack of education, are found to be associated with risk of exploitation. Policies that address these issues may indirectly contribute to getting us closer to achieving Target 8.7.

Human Development Index (Source: UNDP)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) access to knowledge; and (3) a decent standard of living. Human development can factor into issues of severe labour exploitation in multiple ways.

The chart displays information on human development in China between 1990 and 2018. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex. 

The most recent year of the HDI, 2018, shows that the average human development score in China is 0.758. This score indicates that human development is high. 

 

HDI Education Index (Source: UNDP)

Lack of education and illiteracy are key factors that make both children and adults more vulnerable to exploitive labour conditions.

As the seminal ILO report Profits and Poverty explains:

“Adults with low education levels and children whose parents are not educated are at higher risk of forced labour. Low education levels and illiteracy reduce employment options for workers and often force them to accept work under poor conditions. Furthermore, individuals who can read contracts may be in a better position to recognize situations that could lead to exploitation and coercion.”

The bars on the chart represent the Education Index score and the line traces the mean years of education in China over time.

 

Decent work, a major component of SDG 8 overall, has clear implications on the forms of exploitation within Target 8.7. Identifying shortcomings in the availability of equitable, safe and stable employment can be a step in the right direction towards achieving Target 8.7.

 

HDI Vulnerable Employment (Source: UNDP)

There are reasons to believe that certain types of labour and labour arrangements are more likely to lead to labour exploitation. According to the ILO:

“Own-account workers and contributing family workers have a lower likelihood of having formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and a voice at work. The two statuses are summed to create a classification of ‘vulnerable employment’, while wage and salaried workers together with employers constitute ‘non-vulnerable employment’.”

Between 1991 and 2018, China showed a decrease in the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment as compared to those in secure employment.

 

Working Poverty Rate (Source: ILO)

Labour income tells us about a household’s vulnerability. As the ILO explains in Profits and Poverty

“Poor households find it particularly difficult to deal with income shocks, especially when they push households below the food poverty line. In the presence of such shocks, men and women without social protection nets tend to borrow to smooth consumption, and to accept any job for themselves or their children, even under exploitative conditions.”

ILO indicators that measure poverty with respect to the labour force include working poverty rate, disaggregated by sex, with temporal coverage spanning from 2000 to 2020. The chart displays linear trends in working poverty rate over time for all individuals over 15 years of age.

 

Labour Productivity (Source: ILO)

Labour productivity is an important economic indicator that is closely linked to economic growth, competitiveness, and living standards within an economy.” However, when increased labour output does not produce rising wages, this can point to increasing inequality. As indicated by a recent ILO report (2015), there is a “growing disconnect between wages and productivity growth, in both developed and emerging economies”. The lack of decent work available increases vulnerability to situations of labour exploitation. 

Labour productivity represents the total volume of output (measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product, GDP) produced per unit of labour (measured in terms of the number of employed persons) during a given period.

 

Research to date suggests that a major factor in vulnerability to labour exploitation is broader social vulnerability, marginalization or exclusion.

Groups Highly Vulnerable to Exploitation (Source: UNHCR)

Creating effective policy to prevent and protect individuals from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour means making sure that all parts of the population are covered, particularly the most vulnerable groups, including migrants.

According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: “Almost one of every four victims of forced labour were exploited outside their country of residence, which points to the high degree of risk associated with migration in the modern world, particularly for migrant women and children. “

As IOM explains: “Although most migration is voluntary and has a largely positive impact on individuals and societies, migration, particularly irregular migration, can increase vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.” UNODC similarly notes that: “The vulnerability to being trafficked is greater among refugees and migrants in large movements, as recognized by Member States in the New York declaration for refugees and migrants of September 2016.”

The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in China.

Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.

Official Definitions
Child Labour

Labour Law of the People’s Republic of China, 1994

“Article 15 It is forbidden for employers to employ persons under the age of sixteen.
Whenever a unit in culture and arts, sports and special arts and crafts needs to employ young persons under the age of sixteen, examination and approval procedures shall be undertaken according to relevant regulations of the State and the employees thereof should be ensured the right of receiving compulsory education.”

“Article 58 The State shall exercise special labour protection to women workers and underage workers.
Underage workers are referred to workers between the ages of 16 and 18.”

“Article 64 It is not allowed to assign underage workers to work in mines, coal shafts or in toxic and harmful jobs or manual labour of Class Four intensity as provided for by the State and other jobs forbidden for underage persons.
Article 65 An employer shall give regular health check-ups to underage workers.”

Trafficking

Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, 1997

“Article 240
“”Abducting and trafficking in a woman or a child”” refers to any act of abducting, kidnapping, buying, trafficking in, fetching or sending, or transferring a woman or a child for the purpose of selling the victim.”

Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, 1982

“Article 42 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right as well as the duty to work.
Through various channels, the State creates conditions for employment, enhances occupational safety and health, improves working conditions and, on the basis of expanded production, increases remuneration for work and welfare benefits.
Work is a matter of honour for every citizen who is able to work. All working people in State-owned enterprises and in urban and rural economic collectives should approach their work as the masters of the country that they are. The State promotes socialist labour emulation, and commends and rewards model and advanced workers. The State encourages citizens to take part in voluntary labour.
The State provides necessary vocational training for citizens before they are employed.”

“Article 46 Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the duty as well as the right to receive education.
The State promotes the all-round development of children and young people, morally, intellectually and physically.”

“Article 49 Marriage, the family and mother and child are protected by the State.
Both husband and wife have the duty to practice family planning.
Parents have the duty to rear and educate their children who are minors, and children who have come of age have the duty to support and assist their parents.
Violation of the freedom of marriage is prohibited. Maltreatment of old people, women and children is prohibited.”

Governments can take action to assist victims and to prevent and end the  perpetration of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. These actions should be considered in wider societal efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.

Programs and Agencies for Victim Support (Source: Various)

Policies for Assistance

Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women, 1992

Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Legal Aid

“”Under the provisions of Article 11 of the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Legal Aid, in criminal cases of violence against women, from the date a victim’s case is accepted for hearing by the People’s Court, a victim who does not have an agent ad litem because of financial difficulty may apply to a legal assistance agency for legal assistance, and receive the services of a lawyer appointed by the legal assistance agency free of charge.
On the basis of information provided by the Legal Aid Centre of the Ministry of Justice, the implementation rules for the Regulations on Legal Aid currently applied in Beijing, Shanghai, and the provinces of Hebei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang all include domestic violence cases within the scope of legal assistance provided by those localities. The implementation rules for the Regulations on Legal Aid currently applied in the provinces of Jilin, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hainan, Shanxi, and Qinghai include cases of violent interference with the freedom of marriage within the scope of legal assistance provided by those localities. The implementation rules for the Regulations on Legal Aid currently applied in Guangdong province classify all cases involving the protection of women and children as within the scope of legal assistance provided in that locality.””

Penalties
Penalties, Human Trafficking

Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, 1997

“Article 240
Whoever abducts and traffics in a woman or a child shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years, and concurrently be sentenced to a fine. Under any of the following circumstances, the offender shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than ten years or life imprisonment, and concurrently be sentenced to a fine or confiscation of property. If the circumstances are especially serious, the offender shall be sentenced to death, and concurrently be sentenced to confiscation of property:
(1) being a ringleader of a group engaged in the abduction of and trafficking in women or children;
(2) abducting and trafficking in three or more women and/or children;
(3) raping the woman who is abducted and trafficked in;
(4) enticing or forcing the woman who is abducted and trafficked in to engage in prostitution, or selling such woman to any other person or persons who will force the woman to engage in prostitution;
(5) for the purpose of selling the victim, kidnapping a woman or a child by means of violence, threat or anaesthesia;
(6) for the purpose of selling the victim, stealing an infant or a baby;
(7) causing severe bodily injury or death or other serious consequences of the woman or child who is abducted and trafficked in or of their relatives; or
(8) selling a woman or a child out of the territory of China.
“”Abducting and trafficking in a woman or a child”” refers to any act of abducting, kidnapping, buying, trafficking in, fetching or sending, or transferring a woman or a child for the purpose of selling the victim.”

“Article 241
Whoever buys a woman or a child who is abducted and trafficked in shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or public surveillance.
Whoever buys a woman who is abducted and trafficked in and has sexual relations with her against her will shall be decided a crime and punished according to the provisions of Article 236 of this Law.
Whoever buys a woman or a child who is abducted and trafficked in and illegally deprives her/him of her/his personal freedom or restricts her/his personal freedom or commits any criminal act of injuring or insulting shall be decided a crime and punished according to the relevant provisions of this Law.
Whoever buys a woman or a child who is abducted and trafficked in and commits any criminal act as prescribed in the second or third paragraph shall be punished according the provisions regarding combined punishment for several crimes.
Whoever buys a woman or a child who is abducted and trafficked in and sells the victim afterwards shall be decided a crime and punished according to the provisions of Article 240 of this Law.
Whoever, having bought a woman or a child who is abducted and trafficked in, does not obstruct the woman from returning to her original place of residence according to her will, or does not maltreat the child nor obstruct his or her rescue, may be exempted from being investigated for criminal responsibility.”

“Article 244
If any employing unit, in violation of laws or regulations on labour administration, forces employees to work by means of deprivation of personal freedom, and if the circumstances are serious, persons directly responsible for the crime shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years or criminal detention, and concurrently or independently be sentenced to a fine.”

“Article 358
Whoever organizes or forces any other person or persons to engage in prostitution shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years, and concurrently be sentenced to a fine. Whoever commits any of the following acts shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than ten years or life imprisonment, and concurrently be sentenced to a fine or confiscation of property:
(1) organizing other person(s) to engage in prostitution and the circumstances being serious;
(2) forcing a girl under the age of 14 to engage in prostitution;
(3) forcing many persons to engage in prostitution or forcing any other person to engage in prostitution for many times;
(4) forcing the victim to engage in prostitution after raping her; or
(5) causing serious bodily injury or death to the person being forced to engage in prostitution or causing other severe consequences.
Whoever commits any of the acts mentioned in the preceding paragraph, if the circumstances are especially serious, shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or death, and concurrently be sentenced to confiscation of property.
Whoever assists in organizing another person to engage in prostitution shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years and concurrently be sentenced to a fine; if the circumstances are serious, the offender shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years, and concurrently be sentenced to a fine.”

“Article 359
Whoever lures, shelters or procures any other person or persons to engage in prostitution shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention or public surveillance, and concurrently be sentenced to a fine; if the circumstances are serious, the offender shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years and concurrently be sentenced to a fine.
Whoever lures a girl under the age of 14 to engage in prostitution shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years and concurrently be sentenced to a fine.”

“Article 416
Any state functionary in charge of rescuing a woman or child abducted and trafficked in or kidnapped who fails to make any rescue effort on receiving a request for rescue by a woman or child who is abducted and trafficked in or kidnapped or by his or her family members or on receiving a report thereon made by any other person shall, if serious consequences are caused, be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years or criminal detention.
If any state functionary in charge of rescue takes advantage of his office to hinder the rescue, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than seven years. If the circumstances are relatively minor, the offender shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than two years or criminal detention.”

Data Commitments

A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Signed 2017

1.ii. Take steps to measure, monitor and share data on prevalence and response to all such forms of exploitation, as appropriate to national circumstances;

 

Programs and Agencies for Enforcement (Source: Various)

Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.

Social Protection Coverage: General (at Least One)
Social Protection (Source: ILO)

The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.

If a country does not appear on a chart, this indicates that there is no recent data available for the particular social protection visualized.

Social Protection Coverage: Unemployed
Social Protection Coverage: Pension
Social Protection Coverage: Vulnerable Groups
Social Protection Coverage: Poor
Social Protection Coverage: Children
Social Protection Coverage: Disabled

Delta 8.7 has received no Official Response to this dashboard from China. If you are a representative of China and wish to submit an Official Response, please contact us here.