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Survey: Employment discrimination persists in China 2007-06-13 21:30:13
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    BEIJING, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Discrimination is still widespread in China's job market according to a recent survey.

    Conducted by the China University of Political Science and Law early this year, the survey covered 3,454 people in 10 cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Shenyang, Xi'an, Zhengzhou, Yinchuan and Qingdao.

    About 86 percent of the respondents said discrimination existed in the country's employment market with 51 percent labeling it "serious."

    And 22 percent of the respondents said they had been denied job opportunities because they are physically disabled, 19 percent because of their low level of academic attainment and another 19 percent were turned away because their registered residence origin was not the same as the city where they were hunting for a job.

    The survey showed that discrimination is common in government departments, with gender, registered residence origin, height and appearance being the four criteria most frequently cited.

    When the respondents were asked, "If you were an employer, what kind of people would you not hire?" 63 percent said they would not employ HIV carriers, 56 percent said they would not recruit hepatitis B carriers, and 53 percent said they would not hire patients with venereal disease.

    "Job discriminations exists not only in companies but also in government departments," said survey leader Cai Dingjian, a professor from the China University of Political Science and Law.

    "There is an urgent need to combat discrimination in the workplace," Cai added.

    The frustrating job-hunting experience of Guo Hui, who will graduate with a doctor's degree from China's top-notch Beijing University, is a good illustration of what happens.

    Guo, a native of Handan in north China's Hebei Province, became paraplegic when she was 12 years old after a misdiagnosis.

    She has sent out more than 100 job applications to employers in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai since November but did not receive a single reply, Wednesday's People's Daily reported.

    After quitting primary school because of discrimination, Guo --who is bound to a wheelchair -- studied by herself.

    After getting her Master's degree from Shandong University, Guo applied for a job as a teacher, but was rejected because she was disabled.

    She passed exams to enter the doctoral program at Beijing University in 2003.

    Fluent in English and French and the recipient of several state-level scholarships, she could not even get a job as a part-time teacher when she was studying in Beijing.

    "(I didn't get the jobs) -- not because I was unqualified, but because I was physically disabled," Guo said.

    According to an employment law which came into effect on May 1,2007, disabled people should account for at least 1.5 percent of the employees of each employing unit -- including enterprises, government agencies and institutions.

Editor: Lin Li
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