Protecting Chinese IT workers

Ever heard of the “High-Tech – No Rights?” campaign? It is an initiative started in 2007 by a number of NGOs concerned by the labor conditions of IT workers in China.
The campaigns aims to improve the working conditions of IT workers in China by coupling a top-down and bottom-up approach. In a nutshell, leading IT manufacturers are encouraged to include (and follow) a code of conduct in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) chart. At the same time, workers undergo in-factory labor rights training program in China. While HP and Delta Electronics have already initiated such training programs, other leading manufacturers like Acer, Apple or Dell are yet to join the bandwagon.

The question is of course how “deep in the value chain” such an initiative can reach. Many manufacturers are already working closely with first-tier suppliers to ensure reasonable working conditions. But the real challenge lies in offering similar working conditions to employees working for second-tier and third-tier suppliers in some remote factory, somehere in China.

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P.S.: Consumers are of course welcome to make informed choices when buying their next computer

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