The Reform of Chinese Migration Law and the Protection of Migrants’ Rights
Gunter Schubert, Franziska Plümmer, and Anastasiya Bayok (eds.), Immigration Governance in East Asia: Norm Diffusion, Politics of Identity, Citizenship, Routledge 2021, 179-197
26 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2020 Last revised: 8 Dec 2020
Date Written: March 30, 2020
With the adoption of the 2012 Exit-Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China implementing legislation and institutional changes, the Chinese migration law regime underwent fundamental reformation. Streamlined application procedures that are available online and clarified competences have increased efficiency whereas the classification scheme of different categories of foreign nationals has enhanced transparency. This chapter outlines the development of Chinese legislation governing foreign nationals and the changes of the overall legal framework. Further, we will analyse the level of protection of rights of foreign nationals in the area of labour law and legal remedies against measures taken on the basis of the Exit-Entry Administration Law. We argue that recent reforms have been more symbolic than functional and that the protection of rights of migrants has not been significantly improved by recent reforms. The Chinese legislator has taken into account foreign immigration law, in particular legal regulations of typical immigration countries such as Australia or Canada. However, such legal transfer appears to be rather superficial, as the effects of new legal regulation do not deviate substantially from the effects of the previous legal framework. With regard to international law, China has not ratified the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and does not model the protection of labour rights of foreign nationals on the equal treatment principle as it is embodied in the Convention. However, China voted for the Global Compact for Migration after being actively involved in its drafting process and further committing itself in this context to improve national migration legislation.
Keywords: Chinese Migration Law, Protection of Migrants’ Rights, Exit-Entry Administration, Labour Law, International Migration Law
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