Working people in Xinjiang enjoy labor rights: official
BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Workers of all ethnic groups in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region enjoy the right to choose their own occupation voluntarily, a spokesperson for the regional government said Friday.
"Xinjiang follows the relevant conventions and initiatives of the International Labour Organization, strictly implements national laws, and strives to ensure that workers of all ethnic groups work on the premise of freedom," said Xu Guixiang at a press conference held in Beijing.
Due to harsh natural conditions and low-level economic development, there was a serious surplus of rural labor in southern Xinjiang in the past, Xu said. "Therefore, rural residents in southern Xinjiang had difficulties hunting for jobs," he said.
Over the years, governments at all levels in Xinjiang have strived to help the poor shake off poverty by helping them find jobs in other places, Xu noted.
"This is not 'forced labor'," Xu said, adding that people are free to decide wether they want to leave their homes, where they are going, and what jobs they like." The governments only act as servants, providing assistance to people," he said.
With incomes from their new jobs, many people have bought houses and cars, and earned the funds to start businesses, Xu noted. "The government will strive to improve its services to people of all ethnic groups, and help them find suitable jobs and live a better life," he added.