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Law desiderated to protect interns' right

(China Daily)

09:22, June 06, 2013

The college has defended its action, which violates national policies and infringes on students' rights and interests, saying it was forced to make the students do backbreaking work because it was difficult to arrange for their internships to suit their majors. Claiming that it is impossible to follow the national policy on internship, the factory said working overtime was inevitable and common today.

The seemingly reasonable explanations are, in fact, mere excuses for infringing on students' rights and interests. Several questions need to be answered before we can understand why some colleges and companies exploit students: Why did the college arrange for the internship of students in subjects not related to their areas of interest? Why didn't the school cancel the internship program when students complained about the backbreaking labor? And why did the factory force students to work overtime in violation of labor laws?

There is enough reason for the public to suspect that the college "sold" the students as cheap laborers to the company. The fact that students' interests and rights are being violated shows how careless and negligent some colleges have become about labor laws. Internship, it seems, has indeed lost its original purpose. The authorities should enact a specific law on internship organized by vocational colleges to safeguard students' rights and punish the colleges and companies that mistreat interns.

Recently, some interns of Hunan Railway Professional Technology College told the media that their college made them work, often overtime, on assembly lines in a factory in Guangdong province, which was not part of their internship program. What may have prompted the college to force its students to work on assembly lines is the factory owners' promise to pay it 200 yuan per student per month in exchange for "supplying cheap labor", says an article on Excerpts:

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