Xinjiang's migrant workers thriving
A staff member works at a spinning factory in Moyu county, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Jan 11, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
Migrant workers from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have improved their financial situations and expanded their horizons by working in developed areas, experts said at an online seminar on the employment of the region's ethnic groups on May 22.
Organized by the Institute for Communication and Borderland Governance and the School of Journalism and Communication of the Guangzhou-based Ji'nan University, the event drew about 50 experts and students from human rights research institutions in China.
Chen Ning, a visiting research fellow at the Institute for Communication and Borderland Governance of the university, said no workers from ethnic groups in Xinjiang are subject to "forced labor" in any way.
Through field research in five companies employing ethnic minority workers from Xinjiang in Guangdong province, Chen said the companies are in full compliance with all labor laws and have fully protected all minority workers' labor rights.
The companies offer competitive salaries for Xinjiang workers, many of whom left their hometowns to take the higher paying jobs, she said.
The hiring of migrant workers from Xinjiang is one way to ensure positive results in the nation's poverty alleviation efforts, Chen said, because it increases their income and improves their vocational skills and language capabilities.
More importantly, working outside of Xinjiang helps broaden workers' horizons, she said.
Tan Chunxu, a PhD student at the Human Rights Institute at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing, joined a research project in 2020 involving about 150 members of ethnic groups from Xinjiang working in Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces.
The team found that after their work contracts expired, 84 percent of them stay in those provinces, while 10 percent consider returning home to start a business or find a job at home, Tan said.
After a period of working and doing business in cities and towns, such workers accumulate skills, knowledge, capital and management experience and can return to their hometowns to start their own businesses, she said.