Foxconn perspective

We've been following the story of the Foxconn suicides closely.  Someone passed along this link to us about how the media is misrepresenting the figures.  The story mentions the suicide rate in China, and suggests that the Foxconn suicides are not out of proportion. 

In our report over a week ago, Alexandra Harney said that while the working conditions are very difficult, people line up every morning at dawn to get a job there. 

There are a lot of numbers that are hard to get nailed down - the number of employees at Foxconn in addition to the number of suicides, the number of suicide attempts. It's important to keep these suicides in perspective.  One of the guests on our show helps do that.  Dr. Eric Caine worked on suicide prevention in China.  He China is the only country in the world in which women commit more suicide than men.  He also says that suicides happen more often in rural areas, as opposed to urban areas.  They also often are the result of women consuming agricultural pesticide. 

From all the people we talked with, it's clear that having a number of suicides in a row, this close in proximity, this close in time, with such similarity (jumping off their dormitory roofs, is worth examining.  Dr. Caine said the Foxconn suicides have all the earmarks of cluster suicide, in which case the way to stem the rash of suicides is to confront the issue head on.

About the author

Larissa Anderson is a producer for the Marketplace Tech Report and she also produces Minnesota Public Radio’s Wits.

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