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Guangdong to Strengthen Migrant Rights

The Provincial Government is considering a series measures to protect the rights of migrant workers in employment, children's education and residential permits administration.

Some measures include opening special bank accounts for migrant construction workers to avoid delayed wages, exemption of extra education fees for children of migrant workers and a new permanent residency policy for some migrant workers, sources from a provincial meeting on protecting migrant workers rights said.

The Guangdong Provincial Labor and Social Security Department plans to entrust banks with the responsibility for migrant workers' payrolls.

Xie Qianghua, vice-governor of Guangdong said at a meeting Saturday businesses who owe wages to employees will face penalties that could include suspension of their bids and annual licenses. He also announced that under a new rule, businesses who owe wages to their employees will be investigated soon.

Back pay cases in Guangdong Province in 2003 accounted for 40 percent of China's total.

Migrant workers who have lived in the province for five years and have legal businesses and no criminal records can apply for permanent residency permits, the provincial public security department said.

The registered number of migrant workers in the province is 21.3 million. That is one-third of China's the total migrant population.

(Shenzhen Daily June 7, 2004)

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