The Little Birdie Hotline–Platform for China’s Migrant Workers

China’s rapid economic growth has led to lightning speed development across its cities, especially in the East. Migrant workers from rural areas come to cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing in search of jobs (e.g. construction) and better opportunities. But hopes, dreams, and compensation prove both difficult to achieve and obtain for migrant workers who often lack protection from various aspects of the system. In the 1990s, Wei Wei, from the Henan province, came to Beijing in search of something more. Frustrated and faced with the hardship residing in urban shadows, Wei Wei contemplated returning home. Angered with the state of migrant affairs, Wei Wei did something rare for any person in his position—he started his own organization–the Little Birdie Hotline-LBH. LBH would create a platform to share and elevate the grievances faced by rural workers in sprawling urban cities. He initially utilized a free ad to call for migrant workers facing adversity to meet with him and discuss next steps. Initially, the group acted as a support system for one another. Wei Wei and his peers would use their income and would even participate as audience members of TV shows to fund their efforts. Today, the LBH supports hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to resolve compensation disputes with employers.

Organization such as the Little Birdie Hotline signal the importance of civil society and demonstrate that those with seemingly less power are also the very actors that will push the system to do better.

Check out more information on the organization at this site:

Leila, MPP


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