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Any kind of recruitment discrimination illegal

China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-09 07:42

A visitor holds a lobster taken from a water tank at the Hema-branded seafood section of Alibaba's exhibition area at the ongoing China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services. Wang Zhuangfei / China Daily

Fresh Hema, an emerging chain store for fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables has been heavily criticized because one of its managers reportedly said he wouldn't hire people from Beijing when interviewing job-seekers, because "Beijing people have money, we can't afford them." Beijing News comments:

Fresh Hema has already apologized via its official social media account, saying the manager was a part-time staff member from another company and they have already suspended all business with that company.

This is not the first such incident. Last year, a human resources manager of a company said they "do not employ people from Northeastern provinces and the regions that used to be flooded by the Yellow River". The manager was dismissed and the company apologized.

Online protests are not the only weapon against regional discrimination. In 2016, Jing Changshui, a resident from Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan province, successfully sued news anchor Hu Wei for insulting people from Henan province.

In all three cases, there was solid evidence that people from particular regions were being discriminated against. The problem is, in most cases, regional discrimination is more deeply hidden. For example, some companies simply refuse job-seekers from certain regions without ever coming to the public's attention.

The Constitution clearly prohibits discrimination, while many relevant laws have clauses echoing that. For example, the Employment Promotion Law says clearly that people should not be discriminated against because of their race, ethnicity, gender or religious belief.

However, the law has not clearly authorized any department to enforce the law. It is time to fill in that loophole by making the anti-discrimination clauses more executable.

A person or a group must not be deprived of opportunities because of their place of origin, "equal opportunities" must be guaranteed.

The most effective way to end such discrimination lies in promoting the value of equality among the whole of society.

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