Child labor continues in North Korea’s state construction projects
North Koreans have long avoided being pulled into construction work in Samjiyon County due to the construction site’s poor working conditions. Recently, however, sources in North Korea reported that government organizations in need of workers have been paying people to work at the Samjiyon construction site.
“Organizations like the Socialist Women’s Union of Korea and the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League are paying the homeless to go to the Samjiyon construction site to help meet their quotas of laborers sent to the site,” a Ryaanggang Province-based source told Daily NK.
The compensation for one day of work at Samjiyon for a construction work is around 20 yuan, or 60 yuan for three days of work along with 20 yuan to cover transportation costs.
Temporary works hired in this way face difficult conditions at the construction site, however. “They aren’t part of any specific unit so construction site officials give them more work than normal and tell them to find their own accommodations,” the source said, noting that “they’re on their own once they’ve been paid.”
The number of workers each organization must send to the Samjiyon construction site differs depending on the projects the organization has received. If, for example, an elementary organization part of the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League is tasked with constructing one apartment building, they must supply enough workers to finish the completion of that building.
The Youth League, Socialist Women’s Union, the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, factories and even law enforcement agencies have all faced similar tasks handed down by the government since the start of the Samjiyon construction project. ......