采访/田净 编辑/张天宇 后制/李智远
China’s First Lawsuit on Hukou Discrimination in Employment
A female college graduate was turned down for a job offer
for not having a local Hukou (permanent resident status).
In a rage, she took legal action against the employer.
This has become the first case of Hukou discrimination
in employment in China.
Radio Free Asia has reported that a fresh college graduate
was rejected for a position by the Labor & Social Security Bureau in Nanjing.
The reason for the rejection was that she has no local Hukou.
The graduate filed complaints but has failed
to get any response from the bureau.
On May 1 3, her lawyer sued the labor administration
for its Hukou discrimination.
The lawsuit has demanded an apology and
compensation for losses.
(Migrant workers, Dongguan) Mr. Cao:
“The existence of the Hukou system is really very wrong.
It limits so many civil rights in China. Without local Hukou,
you lose the equal rights that local residents have.
In job hunting, some private employers may still
consider your job applications if you haven’t local Hukou.
But this is absolutely impossible for civil service positions.
Local state agencies are the turf of local people,
there’s no chance of acceptance for non-locals.”
It is known that there is a wide variety of
reasons for employment discrimination in China.
It involves aspects of Hukou status, academic degree,
race, age, handicaps, marital status, among others.
An official survey was conducted in five provinces,
in Beijing, Hebei, Henan, Zhejiang and Chongqing.
It showed that Hukou discrimination is one of
the most serious forms of discrimination in employment.
This is especially true in civil service recruitment.
Among those who suffer Hukou discrimination,
nearly 60% have been rural residents,
about 79% have been non-local residents.
In Beijing, the job rejection rate for those
non-local job seekers are as high as 93.9%.
(Former editor, Hebei state radio station) Zhu Xinxin says:
“China hasn’t developed any real market economy.
Many sectors are subject to local protectionism.
Local authorities only care about their performance appraisal.
They usually keep job positions for local residents,
instead of making them open to non-local citizens.
Local protectionism plays a key role in this issue.
Each region has its own divided power and influences.”
Hukou discrimination affects nearly every aspect of
people’s lives in China.
The impact on employment is only the tip of the iceberg.
It can affect people in their school education, buying homes,
in their eligibility for insurance benefits
and in their access to banking services.
(Migrant worker, Dongguan) Mr. Cao:
“Another issue is children’s school education.
We’ve lived and worked here for over a decade,
but have been treated like second-class citizens.
Our children are banned from attending state schools.
They have to seek education at private migrant schools,
which costs us so much each year.
Among the migrant workers’ children,
over 80% attend private migrant schools.”
Some scholars have said that China’s existing
household registration system is more backward than
the system in use during the reign of Kuomingtang
and during the Beiyang Warlord period.
Hukou discrimination has now become
a target of public criticism.
Zhu Xinxin: “The Hukou system started after
the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) took power.
It should be abolished for not fitting in with today’s society.
The CCP set it up to facilitate its control over the people.
The Hukou system strictly limits migration,
and divides the population into rural and urban residents.
It has been uniformly opposed by the public.”
The RFA report has quoted writer Zhu Jianguo.
He said that no matter whether the court accepts the lawsuit
or not, Hukou discrimination for employment has no solution.
Even winning the lawsuit is pointless,
as it won’t be recognized by the authorities.