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Archive for the ‘Slave labour’ Category

Microsoft workers in China: ‘We are like prisoners’

Posted by Author on April 14, 2010 –

A Chinese factory making Microsoft peripherals violates every single labor law in China, according to a new report from the National Labor Committee. KYE factory workers toil away 12 hours a day Monday through Friday and earn 43 cents an hour.

Dongguan, China – “We are like prisoners,” one worker at KYE Factory told the NLC, according to the report. “It seems like we live only to work. We do not work to live. We do not live a life, only work.”

That is one of the many statements casting a cloud over Microsoft’s labor practices. Microsoft has been outsourcing production to the KYE factory since at least 2003, the NLC found, and the factory often makes peripherals such as mice, keyboards and webcams.

Released yesterday, NLC’s report titled China’s Youth Meet Microsoft explains daily working conditions:

Twenty or thirty workers on a line must complete 2,000 Microsoft mice in 12 hours. The workers’ hands and fingers are constantly moving, many suffering abrasions and cuts, since the connectors must be inserted very closely together.

The report goes on to quote several workers, who offer an inside perspective on working at KYE in Dongguan City, Guangdong, China. One employee states: “We are ordered around and told what to do and what not to do. No one in management has ever asked us about anything. There is no discussion. You feel no respect.”

What about shifts? Fifteen-hour shifts are not uncommon, the report alleges, and staff are “prohibited from talking, listening to music or using the bathroom during working hours.”

The report, compiled with interviews and photographs from the past three years, found that the majority of KYE’s 2,000 workers were between 16 and 18 years old……. (more details from

Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, employment, Guangdong, Human Rights, Law, Life, Microsoft, News, People, SE China, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, USA, Worker, World, Youth | Comments Off on Microsoft workers in China: ‘We are like prisoners’

Report: Prison-like High-Tech Sweatshop in China Producing for HP, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft and IBM

Posted by Author on February 19, 2009

NEW YORK, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Charles Kernaghan and the National Labor Committee (NLC) are releasing a 60-page report, High Tech Misery in China, documenting the grueling hours, low wages and draconian disciplinary measures at the Meitai factory in southern China. The 2,000 mostly-young women workers produce keyboards and other equipment for Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft and IBM. Along with worker interviews, photographs of primitive factory and dorm conditions and extensive internal company documents were smuggled out of the factory.

Full report:

  • Workers sit on hard wooden stools as 500 computer keyboards an hour move down the assembly line, 12 hours a day, seven days a week, with just two days off a month. The workers have 1.1 seconds to snap on each key, an operation repeated 3,250 times an hour, 35,750 a day, 250,250 a week and over one million times a month. The pace is relentless.
  • Workers are paid 1/50th of a cent for each operation they complete.
  • Workers cannot talk, listen to music or even lift their heads to look around. They must “periodically trim their nails,” or be fined.
  • Workers needing to use the bathroom must learn to hold it until there is a break. Security guards spy on the workers, who are prohibited from putting their hands in their pockets and are searched when they leave the factory.
  • All overtime is mandatory and workers are at the factory up to 87 hours a week, while earning a take-home wage of just 41 cents an hour. Workers are being cheated of up to 19 percent of the wages due them.
  • Ten to twelve workers share each overcrowded dorm room, sleeping on metal bunk beds and draping old sheets over their cubicles for privacy. Workers bathe using small plastic buckets and must walk down several flights of stairs to fetch hot water.
  • Workers are locked in the factory compound four days a week and prohibited from even taking a walk.
  • For breakfast the workers receive a thin rice gruel. On Fridays they receive a small chicken leg and foot to symbolize “their improving life.”
  • Workers are instructed to “love the company like your home”…”continuously striving for perfection” …and to spy on and “actively monitor each other.”
  • China provides large subsidies to its exporters. In 2008, the U.S. trade deficit with China in advanced technology products is expected to reach $74 billion. There are 1.4 million electronic assembly jobs left in the U.S. — paying $12.72 to $14.41 an hour — which may be lost due to China’s low wages and repression of worker rights.
Young women cue up in the factory cafeteria

Young women cue up in the factory cafeteria

One Metai worker summed up the general feeling in the factory: “I feel like I am serving a prison sentence…The factory is forever pressing down on our heads and will not tolerate even the tiniest mistake. When working, we work continuously. When we eat, we have to eat with lightning speed… The security guards are like policemen watching over prisoners. We’re really livestock and shouldn’t be called workers.”

Charles Kernaghan, director of the NLC commented, “God help us if the labor-management relations being developed in China become the new low standard for the rest of the world. The $200 personal computer and $22.99 keyboard may seem like a great bargain. But they come at a terrible cost. The low wages and lack of worker rights protections in China are leading the race to the bottom in the global sweatshop economy, where there are no winners.”


Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, employment, Human Rights, Law, Life, Made in China, Microsoft, News, People, products, Slave labour, Social, Technology, USA, Women, Worker, World | 6 Comments »

Most Wicked Labor Camps in China (1) – Liaoning Masanjia

Posted by Author on August 21, 2007

Liaoning Masanjia Labor Camp

Address:Liaoning Masanjia Labor Camp

Masanjia Village, Masanjia Town, Yuhong District, Shenyang City
Liaoning Province, northeast China
Post Code: 110145
Tel: 024-89210822, 024-89212252, 024-89210454

Brief about Masanjia

The Masanjia Labor Camp, also called the “Ideology Education School of Liaoning Province,” is located in a suburb of Shenyang City, and is notorious for its heinous crimes against Falun Gong practitioners and known worldwide for its forced-brainwashing techniques.

Over the past four years and seven months, from July 1999 to February 2004, at least 99 practitioners were murdered there because of their belief in the universal principle of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.” Their ages ranged from 27 to 65 and majority of them were only between 31 and 39 years old.

In one incident that was reported by several news agencies, 18 female practitioners were stripped naked and thrown into the cells of male criminals.

The Masanjia Labor Camp is a fascist camp for the purpose of enslaving prisoners to perform labor for profit. Prisoners must work for extended hours under the most appalling conditions.

The main “business” of the women’s section of the Masanjia Labor Camp is textile production. Not only are the detainees not paid, but also their work hours and workloads are pushed to the limit to “boost productivity and profits.”

Falun Gong practitioners from 14 years of age to over 60 have been forced to do intensive labor in the labor camp. They are routinely forced to work 14-16 hours a day, with no days off. Sometimes when there is a big order, they are forced to work for 36 hours nonstop.Falun Gong practitioners live in the most inhumane conditions. There is no bathroom in the camp. They are not allowed to brush their teeth, or to wash, shower, or change their clothes. Even the time for using the toilet is limited. The food given is minimal and is often rotten.

The horrendous conditions and excessive workload damage the health of the practitioners. Many have swollen legs and experience irregular menstruation. Some even develop atrophy of their buttocks due to the extensive hours of being forced to sit still and work.

Due to exhaustion, some have even fainted while working. However, no matter what physical conditions they are in, and no matter what the state of their health, they are not spared from the hard labor.

Torture methods used in Masanjia Labor camp

Nearly 100 torture methods used at the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their beliefs, here we only list the the most commonly used 20 torture methods. ( details including photos see this report)

Torture Names

Torture method 1: body folding
Torture method 2: torturing the arms
Torture method 3: handstand (standing upside-down)
Torture method 4: hanging upside-down
Torture method 5: sealing the mouth
Torture method 6: tie-up
Torture method 7: handcuffing
Torture method 8: sitting with arms raised
Torture method 9: split legs and head against the floor
Torture method 10: sitting on a small stool
Torture method 11: sitting in a basin with cold water
Torture method 12: savage beating
Torture method 13: electric shock
Torture method 14: sitting on metal chair in solitary confinement cell
Torture method 15: sitting on metal chair inside “sardine can”
Torture method 16: force-feeding
Torture method 17: force-feeding through the nose
Torture method 18: handcuffed in “dead person’s bed” while naked and receive force-feeding through the nose
Torture method 19: “golden dragon in the ocean”
Torture method 20: freezing.

Cases of torture

1. Zhang Guizhi, female, tortured to death in Masanjia

“On April 12th, 2003 Ms. Zhang’s family received a notice issued jointly by the Masanjia Labor Camp, the local police station and Liujiawopu Village Committee stating that Ms. Zhang “is receiving emergency treatment because she’s critically ill.”

“By the time Ms. Zhang’s family arrived at Masanjia, she was already dead.

“Family members say there were noticeable wounds on her body, including numerous bruises as well as bloodstains in her nose and mouth.

“Labor camp officials refused to allow the family to take any photographs of the body.

“Initially, police and camp officials declined to answer questions about the cause of her death. When Ms. Zhang’s family members demanded to know why her body was black and blue, the police claimed that she had fallen in the shower, triggering a heart problem that led to her death.

“According to a source familiar with Masanjia Labor Camp, prisoners are only allowed to take showers on specific days. April 12th was not a designated “shower day” for those held in the camp, the source says.”

– excerpt, Report from Falun Dafa Information Center, 8/4/2003, “Falun Gong Woman Exhibits Torture Injuries, Dies in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp

2. After 23 Days of Torture, a Farm Woman Suffers a Mental Collapse

“While she was in the camp, her hands and feet were handcuffed to a pole. She was not allowed to sleep or to use the toilet facilities. The Masanjia staff wrapped her up in a plastic bag to contain the bad odors emitted from her bodily waste.

“After twenty-three days of torture, Ms. Liu finally broke down physically and mentally and could not recognize her own family. Even so, the police from the Beigang Town Authority still attempted to put her in a brainwashing session. ” ( More details )

3. A Woman’s Breasts Disfigured and Infected from Severe Electric Shock Torture

“Two guards from Benxi, holding electric batons, shouted, “We will see who is tougher!” The two men tore Ms. Wang’s shirt open and shocked her breasts with two electric batons for 30 minutes……. ( more details )

Warning: It is recommended that children and those with delicate sensitivities refrain from viewing these photos.

Photo 1, Photo 2

Cases of forced labor

1. Forced to Make Clothing for Export

“Zhou Yanchun, female, 33, product Inspector of the Shenyang Antibiotic Factory 104 workshop (illegally dismissed because she practices Falun Gong), resident of Haiwang Street construction working committee, New Town District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, ID number: 210113680412642

“In the labor camp, Ms. Zhou was forced to make products for export, such as clothing, handicrafts, and embroidered goods, for the “Xinghua Clothing Manufacturer.”

“She was forced to work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and sometimes even until midnight, with no breaks, no weekends off, and no compensation.

“Her hands were often swollen and covered with blood blisters, and her finger joints ached from the strenuous work.

“She was only given a limited amount of mildewed cornbread to eat. Her health declined rapidly. Due to the long work hours and appalling conditions, her face and eyes were swollen and she suffered intense abdominal pain. Yet, she was still not allowed to take any breaks.

“If she ever slumped over from weariness or showed signs of fatigue, she would be shocked with electric batons by the guards……. ( more details )

2. Forced to Work for Extended Hours to Make Products for Export

“Falun Gong practitioners, including Ms. Liu Fengmei, Ms. Cui Yaning, Ms. Xie Baofeng, Ms. Dong Guixia, Ms. Jiang Wei, Xu sisters, Ms. Li Ping, Ms. Luo Li, Ms. Li Yingxuan, Ms. Li Zemei, Ms. Bai Shuzhen, have been illegally imprisoned at the Masanjia Labor Camp due to the central government’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

“The practitioners are forced to work from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., making clothing, handicrafts, and embroidery for export.

“They have no breaks, no weekends off, and no compensation. Sometimes they are forced to work for as long as 36 hours without a break.

“From March 7 to 12, 2000, they were forced to work on a batch of products that were waiting to be immediately shipped overseas because the customer had a rush order.

“On March 11, 2000, they were informed that they would have to work overtime. They were forced to work non-stop from 6:30 a.m. on March 11, 2000 to 4 p.m. on March 12, 2000 (totaling 33.5 hours).

“However, on March 12, they had not been able to finish the assigned work. To punish them, the guards did not allow them to eat lunch. In addition, the guards beat or shocked the practitioners with electric batons…… ( more details )


Camp director: Sun Fengwu, 86-24-89212096 ext206; 86-24-89210262;

Institute director: Su Jing, 86-24-86210074 ext 30; 86-24-89210567; 86-24-89210054;

Prisoner leaders: Shao Li, Xue Fenglu, Yue Qin, Zhang XX, Yu XX, Qiu Ping: 86-24-89210074 ext383;

Zhao Jinghua: 86-24-89212252; 86-24-9240454;

Judicature: Gao Fusheng, office number: 86-24-7340130; Home number: 86-24-7612366; Cell phone number: 86-13130446378;

Vice secretary: Cui Yanlin, office number: 86-24-7340321; Home number: 86-24-7616101; Cell phone: 86-13940816031

More reference:

Masanjia Forced Labor Camp— Wrecking Lives and Destroying the Human Conscience
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 6

List of the Most Wicked Labor Camps in Modern China
List of China Modern Torture Methods (slideshow)

Posted in China, Crime against humanity, Economy, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Health, Human Rights, Labor camp, Law, Liaoning, Liaoning Masanjia, Made in China, NE China, News, People, Photo, Politics, products, Religious, Report, Shenyang, Slave labour, Social, Special report, sweatshop, Torture, Women, World | 4 Comments »

photos: Disabled Children, Beggars, Slavery, or Money Machine?

Posted by Author on July 23, 2007

After read the report by John Ray from The Observer – China’s Disabled Children Are Sold Into Slavery As Beggars– I remembered I used to read a Chinese report on the similar topic, which I was reluctant to believe.

Now again I find out the Chinese story and here’s some pictures to share with you.

Disabled Children, Sold Into Slavery As Beggars

(The beggar’s feet tied together by a string and put from the back up on the shoulder)

beggars (2)

( All photos are from Watching China website) 

Posted in Child Labour, Children, China, Economy, Health, Law, Life, News, People, Photo, Rural, Slave labour, Social, teenager | 6 Comments »

China’s Disabled Children Are Sold Into Slavery As Beggars

Posted by Author on July 23, 2007

As Beijing prepares for the Olympics, racketeers live well off their street army of exploited teenagers

John Ray in Beijing, The Observer, Sunday July 22, 2007-

Nature Has not been kind to Gao Zhou Zhou – though not as cruel as other human beings. Her back is bent and bowed; her legs fold uselessly beneath her. She gets around using a homemade skateboard. Her arms, legs and face are very, very dirty. She doesn’t know her age – she looks perhaps 15 – and she cannot remember her real parents. But she knows the pain of life on the streets of Beijing. ‘When I first came here they beat me so hard I nearly died. They beat me and they beat me,’ she says.

It was three years ago when a man she calls ‘uncle’ came to her village. There was a cash transaction with her stepfather, who was promised the equivalent of £150 in instalments. In the land of the rampant capitalist, this was just another business deal.

Since then, most days from early morning to nightfall, she has been hunched over her pitch – a patch of pavement close to Tiananmen Square, amid the crowds of tourists and shoppers. Most don’t offer a second glance. Some pause long enough to place a few notes into the tin she holds out. On a good day she earns 300 yuan (£20). It goes to ‘uncle’.

‘The man who took me here is a very powerful man. Everybody in the village is scared of him. He can chop off anybody’s arm or leg. Whatever he wants. He’s got men all over China. He told me he will find me wherever I go.’

This is not an isolated story. Another girl, born with a curved spine and legs that can carry her only in a spider-like walk, tells us how she was sold into what amounted to a life of slavery in Beijing. Yang Ping says: ‘On the first day I only earned 20 yuan from begging. They beat me up’. She starts to cry: ‘Can we not talk about this?’

Ping is one of six, five of them girls. She wanted to make a living and her family needed the money. Two years ago, she was lured to Beijing with the promise of a job in a toy factory. Her parents were promised £20 a month.

Arriving in the city, she was told the factory had gone bankrupt and she was forced to beg for her keepers. ‘When they played mahjong and lost a few hundred yuan, there would be no food for a start. And then they would show us violence, just like that. They kicked me on the ground and beat me with a belt. They bought nice clothes and had nice cars. I had nothing.’

In a country still in shock from this summer’s unprecedented public soul-searching over the slave labour used in brick factories, the sale of children, often disabled, to work as beggars is yet another scandal the authorities will have to tackle. Next year Beijing will be both Olympic and Paralympic city. What plans are there to clear the streets of the thousands who make a living from them?

The Beijing government refused to say. But charity workers and officials say the authorities have not yet worked out a plan – at least not one they can talk about. Most observers believe the beggars will be cleaned out, one way or the other. And that would be tough on Li Ji Hai and his wife.

A middle-aged couple, they live in a shabby corner of Beijing and live off the earnings of beggars. One is a baby boy who barely stirs during our visit. ‘He’s sick,’ Li tells us. ‘We found him by the roadside in March.’ The other is a teenager – from the same province as Zhou Zhou. They say they bought him for a few hundred yuan. Each day they send him out to beg on their behalf.

Li walks across the room and grabs the boy’s legs. He shakes them around to demonstrate that he is paralysed from the waist down. ‘I know it’s illegal,’ Li admits. ‘But begging has a long history in China. There’s nothing to hide. Everybody has to make a living.’

According to Kate Wedgwood, the outgoing China director of Save the Children, it is part of a much bigger phenomenon. Amid the huge tide of Chinese workers moving from country to city, as many as a million children have become separated from their parents. Perhaps 150,000 are looked after by the state; the rest, presumably, are fending for themselves. ‘A lot of it is about ignorance,’ said Wedgwood. ‘Often the parents don’t know what existence they are selling their children into.”

Zhou Zhou has pinned her hopes on her stepfather. She gives this message to take to him: ‘Please come and get me. My life here is so bitter.’

We track her stepfather down to a village in Henan, an hour’s flight south of Beijing and a world away from China’s economic miracle. This is dirt-poor country.

Gao Jie Liang, standing in his cramped and muddy farmyard, is slightly built and 5ft tall. No way could he stand up to ‘uncle’ – even if he wanted to. He seems to have no regrets, except to believe that he sold Zhou Zhou too cheaply. She was a burden, he says. She wanted to leave, and it is common for the parents of disabled children to offload them in this way.

The last we see of his stepdaughter is close to Tiananmen Square as night falls. Her ‘uncle’ is about to pick her up. Zhou Zhou will hand over the day’s takings, and she’ll be back here tomorrow. There is no other place for her to go.

· John Ray is ITV News China Correspondent. His report will be shown on the ITV Evening News at 6.30pm on Monday.

Original report from The Observer

Posted in Beijing, Child Labour, Children, China, Economy, Health, Law, Life, News, People, Rural, Slave labour, Social, teenager | 1 Comment »

China Slavery Verdict Angers Families- ‘Bigger Fish Off the Hook’

Posted by Author on July 19, 2007

By Ching-Ching Ni, Times Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, CA, US, Jul. 19, 2007-

The kiln owner in the case, the son of a Communist Party official, ‘got off too easy,’ one victim’s father says.

BEIJING — Family and friends reacted with anger Wednesday after the owner of a kiln operated with slaves who were beaten and forced to work long days was sentenced to nine years in prison even as two aides received far harsher punishment.

Kiln owner Wang Bingbing, the son of a local Communist Party official, was convicted Tuesday of unlawful detention for the use of slave laborers at his brick kiln in Shanxi province.

The supervisor of his plant, Zhao Yanbing, received the death penalty after he was convicted of beating a mentally impaired man to death with a shovel because he wasn’t working hard enough. Foreman Heng Tinghan, found guilty of intentionally injuring workers and illegal detention, received a life sentence.

“We are very angry. This sentence is too lenient,” said Zhang Shanlin, father of a young man so badly beaten and burned that he cannot walk without assistance. “The owner got off too easy. Without him, how could they have enslaved so many people?”

The case, which came to light last month after hundreds of fathers seeking missing children believed to have been sold into slavery pleaded for help on the Internet, exposed the widespread use of slaves at kiln operations in central China.

Tuesday’s sentencing came a week after Beijing executed the country’s top food and drug safety official for taking bribes and approving fake medicines sold at home and abroad.

Worried about the latest scandal’s potential to further tarnish the country’s reputation, officials have cracked down on 7,500 small kilns across north-central China and slapped more than a dozen kiln owners and foremen with jail terms.

“The scandal is a blot on socialist China which we must wipe out,” said Shanxi Provincial Court Vice President Liu Jimin.

Chinese media have reported that as many as 1,000 minors had been kidnapped and sold into slavery in rural kilns. Officials say only about a dozen child laborers had been freed in the recent raids, leading some critics to say that the true extent of the scandal is being covered up.

“You can see the major massaging of statistics,” said Robin Munro, research director at China Labor Bulletin, a watchdog group based in Hong Kong.

An additional 95 mostly lower-level officials have been disciplined for dereliction of duty in the brick kiln slavery case, with penalties such as removal from office and expulsion from the Communist Party.

Officials say the size of the dragnet shows an unprecedented commitment to justice, but critics and victims’ families say it lets bigger fish off the hook.

“These guys are scapegoats,” said Zhang Xiaoying, the mother of a 15-year-old boy who had been enslaved and rescued. She is not related to Zhang Shanlin. “They are hired hands. They were just following orders.”

Victims of Wang’s kiln operation said he relied on his father’s clout and bribed police to ignore abuses.

“It’s inconceivable that slave labor and gross physical abuse on the scale it’s been reported could possibly have gone on without full knowledge of local officials,” said Munro. “My guess is too many officials are involved — prosecuting them all would be even worse for the government’s image.”

“This is about local protectionism,” Zhang Shanlin said. “The government should make an example of this by striking down hard.”

original report from  Los Angeles Times

Posted in Asia, Central China, Child Labour, China, Communist Party, corruption, Family, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Rural, Shanxi, Slave labour, Social, Worker | Comments Off on China Slavery Verdict Angers Families- ‘Bigger Fish Off the Hook’

China: Foreman in Kiln sentenced to death for killing Slave Labor

Posted by Author on July 17, 2007

By Daniel Schearf, VOA News, Beijing, 17 July 2007-

One man has been sentenced to death and at least one other has been given a life sentence in the sensational case of slave labor in northern China.  As Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing, the case uncovered a huge problem in official neglect of forced and child labor.

The sentences were handed down by the Intermediate People’s Court in China’s Shanxi province.  A foreman named Zhao Yanbing was sentenced to death for killing a worker who was enslaved at the brick kiln where Zhao worked.

Zhao’s supervisor, Heng Tinghan, was convicted of beating and enslaving workers, and sentenced to life in prison.  Wang Bingbing, the owner of the kiln and the son of a local Communist Party village chief, was given nine years for illegally detaining workers.

The court said Heng had used agents to recruit workers at train stations with false promises.  Instead of a decent job with good pay, the workers were forced to work up to 18 hours a day with little food and water.  They slept in unsanitary and crowded rooms and were routinely beaten.

The case received widespread publicity inside and outside China and officials at the highest level condemned the situation.  The political importance attached to the case was indicated when the deputy head of the Shanxi provincial high court, Liu Jimin, announced the verdicts on live state television.

Liu said the situation had harmed social order.

“Only by dealing with this severely and according to law … can we face up to such crimes and safeguard citizens’ lives, health and right to freedom, and protect social stability,” Liu said.

The official China Daily newspaper reported that 26 other overseers at the kiln were given prison sentences, but did not elaborate.

The forced labor scandal gained attention after 400 fathers posted a letter on the Internet saying their children had been kidnapped and sold into forced labor at brick kilns in Shanxi and Henan provinces.  The men said they had sought help from local officials and police, but were ignored.

Since the case came to light, the government has mounted a massive search-and-rescue campaign in the region and freed hundreds from forced labor in brick kilns and coal and iron mines.

Twenty-nine children, some as young as eight, have been found working at the kilns.  Chinese media reports say there may be a thousand or more children still working in slave-like conditions.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency says 95 party officials and civil servants have been punished and 33 officials have been fired for not preventing the forced labor.

– original report from VOA News : China Kiln Worker Sentenced to Death in Slave Labor Case

Posted in Asia, Central China, Child Labour, China, corruption, Economy, employment, Law, News, People, Politics, Rural, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, Worker, World | Comments Off on China: Foreman in Kiln sentenced to death for killing Slave Labor

photos: Slave Labors in China Exploitative Cotton Factory

Posted by Author on July 15, 2007

The Epoch Times, Jul 14, 2007-workers in Exploitative Cotton Factory (1)

In the wake of the heartbreaking story of underground brick factories involving scores of child slaves found in China’s Shanxi province, a similar exploitation has emerged: a corrupt cotton factory in Wuhan City, Hubei Province.

In a darkened factory chamber several dark-skinned workers surrounded a large pile of contaminated cotton. Some workers lay exhaustedly on the factory’s grimy floor, their bodies covered with dark mosquitoes and flies. One of the workers raised his hand, which was dyed black from his labor, and revealed a damaged finger that had been cut off by a machine.

Photos of Exploited Workersworker in Exploitative Cotton Factory

On July 7, Wang Haofeng, a former photojournalist for a Wuhan-based newspaper known for exposing hidden crimes, found the factory by chance. At his own risk, Wang snuck into the facility and shot some breathtaking photos that he later posted on his own personal web page—Wang Haofeng’s “Focus.” In his posting Wang included a call to save these exploited workers.

According to the Information Times , Wang revealed that the media actually exposed thisworker in china Exploitative Cotton Factory (3) factory in 2001. At that time the factory was accused of employing underage children who were tortured and denied pay. The story broke when the children escaped and the local government in Wuhan fined and condemned the facility. But despite media exposure and police intervention, the factory soon resumed its old ways, and has secretly remained in operation until now.

Since its initial exposure, circumstances have grown even worse for factory workers. Composed of five or six enclosed brick chambers, the factory resembles a dark tomb. The facility lacks windows, lights and fans, making for suffocating, hot and stuffy working conditions, particularly in Wuhan, which is notorious for its unbearably hot summer. The chambers are hazy with dust that irritates the nose, eyes and throat. No person would stay inside this facility of his own free will.

Due to the extreme temperatures, nearly all workers labored naked from the waist up.worker in China Exploitative Cotton Factory Just like the contaminated cotton that they dealt with, the worker’s bodies were dyed black—each of them was black from head to toe. The white surgeon’s mask worn by one worker revealed black marks at his mouth and nostrils. One could clearly see that the air inside the chamber was dirty and smoke-saturated. One very young laborer looked to have been responsible for processing the various colors of collected worn-out cloth. His many hours spent in the factory had dyed his hair a lifeless pale red, like dead grass. It was quite painful to rest eyes on this ruinedworker (5) youth.

During his secret investigation, Wang talked to one worker who showed him a damaged finger, explaining that his finger had been cult off by a machine in the factory. “The boss is quite cruel,” the worker told Wang, “Since I entered this factory, I have become thinner and there is great pain in my chest when I breathe.” Soon after the worker finished his words, a man who appeared to be a supervisor showed up, pointing a long sharp knife at Wang. Another supervisor shouted, “If you dare to take photos, I will beat you to death!”worker (6) Meanwhile, another man who appeared to be running the operation came forward to give the worker a tongue-lashing “Why did you talk to an outsider?!” he shouted.

When recounting how he managed to come out of the factory in one piece, Wang said with a smile, “It was really a narrow escape.” The armed supervisor grabbed Wang’s camera, yet when he checked it he found that no photos had been taken. Cleverly, Wang brought several cameras with him and the supervisor never found the camera that had actually been used to document the facility. When the supervisor saw that no photo was taken, he promptly threw Wang out.

Because of his close brush with the angry supervisors, Wang did not have enough time toworker (7) observe the other chambers in the factory. Therefore, he could not accurately determine just how many laborers there were in the facility. But he did spot over ten workers in the chamber when he first arrived.

This exploitative cotton factory was located next to a funeral parlor in Hankou, Wuhan City. Most of its ingredients came from the used and dirty cotton cloth retrieved from the funeral parlor’s garbage.

– original report from The Epoch Times: China’s Exploitative Cotton Factory

Report In Chinese

Posted in Asia, Central China, China, corruption, Economy, employment, Health, Hubei, Law, Life, News, People, Photo, products, Slave labour, Social, Worker, World, Wuhan | 3 Comments »

“Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!” – China National Anthem Says

Posted by Author on June 23, 2007

(excerpt) By Chris Buckley, Reuters, Fri Jun 22, 2007-

BEIJING (Reuters) – “Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!” go the stirring words that open China’s national anthem.

But shocking images of men and children padlocked and brutalized in stifling brickworks have shown that even in this officially socialist nation, where workers are supposed to rule, slavery has secured a niche in the galloping market economy.

If, nearly six decades after the communist revolution, China can sustain even small-scale slavery, what of other parts of Asia where forced labor has deep roots that have long defied rights campaigns?

Observers of workers trapped in forced labor say economic growth does not necessarily spell the end of slavery, and small brick-makers across Asia often exploit trapped labour.

“The number-one predictor is corruption,” said Kevin Bales, an expert on the problem who is president of Free the Slaves, a Washington D.C.-based group.

“You can certainly see economic growth and slavery going hand in hand when that primary criterion of corruption is there.”

In north China’s Shanxi province, the centre of the national scandal, witnesses said paying off officials was normal in this region dotted with small coal mines and belching factories.

– excerpt from Reuters report: Across Asia, corruption and slavery form bitter web

Slavery and Organ Harvesting: Are you imaginative enough? – Jun 20, 2007

Posted in Asia, Child Labour, China, corruption, Economy, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, People, Report, Rural, Slave labour, Social | 1 Comment »

China Slavery and Organ Harvesting: Are you imaginative enough?

Posted by Author on June 23, 2007

By Jennifer Zeng, The Epoch Times, Jun 20, 2007- slave labor

After reading the shocking news of Shanxi Province’s underground brick factory —which uncovered children and the handicapped sold into slavery to work 16 to 20 hours a day—I couldn’t help but think of the organ harvesting program targeting living Falun Gong practitioners.

How was the factory uncovered? Who thought of this scheme? And who would dare believe it? Consider the ideas put forth in the article “China No Longer Needs Novels,” by Chinese writer Yang Hengjun. Yang said that, when compared to the tumultuous atmosphere of China’s current social climate, many criticize his novels as being unimaginative or boring. The comment stopped Yang from writing novels all together. The reality of the underground brick factory appears to be more horrific than any story one could imagine. “I have written novels for so many years, so why do I lack such imagination?” asked Yang. “Why could I not imagine such shockingly ruthless plots that would make even ghosts cry?”

One need only observe those who live in, or who have come out of, the “New China.” These people have been raised on thoughts of a flowering nation, a prosperous time, a grand nation rising, or a society of harmony? How can such people imagine or believe news of child slavery or an organ harvesting program ? They can only become angry when this truth is revealed. As renowned human rights attorney, Gao Zhisheng, once said, “There is only what they [the Chinese communist regime] can’t think of, there is nothing they can’t do.”

Although the Chinese communist regime wishes to paint a different picture, the “New China” is very much defined by stories like the brick factory operation and the organ harvesting program. Aside being heinous crimes, what traits do these incidents share?

Shocking and Audacious

Both involve underground systems existing outside the realm of normal society. Theorgan harvesting, re-enact slaves in the factory were jailed in brick caves; while Falun Gong practitioners are also jailed underground or in other places unknown to the public. The factory kept human beings for free labor, whereas the organ harvesting program keeps Falun Gong practitioners as a living organ reserve. In both cases the imprisoned were denied the dignity and personal freedom that is the right of every individual. Instead their bodies became the property of others.

(photo: re-enacted scene of organ harvesting in China. – by Xiaoyan Sun, The Epoch Times)


Brick factory victims included farmer workers, children, and mentally retarded people—society’s neglected, weak and forgotten. Organ harvesting victims on the other hand are made up of Falun Gong practitioners —the No. 1 enemies to be eliminated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Far from forgotten, the CCP instead focuses much of their attention on this group as they attempt to eliminate them from the society. In terms of their societal standing, Falun Gong adherents suffer an even harsher fate than weak social groups.

Driven by Profit

Both the brick factory and the organ harvesting program are driven by profit. Many argue that in a corrupt environment such as China, which has bred a society bent solely on pursuing wealth, inhumane moneymaking schemes are bound to surface. The underground brick factory combined a tireless labor force—slaves were made to work 16 -20 hours per day—and little overhead—workers, receiving only cold water and a bun for sustenance, were tossed aside when they later died from exhaustion—resulting in a business model of almost pure profit.

What about the profit from organ harvesting? China’s organ transplant website clearly labels the price for its wares: one liver costs between $98,000 to $130,000; while one kidney is sold at $62,000; $130,000 to $150,000 for a heart and $30,000 for a cornea. In comparison, when selling the organs from a single body, the profit is far greater than what value a slave can create in an underground factory.

Criminals by Any Name

The criminals that ran the underground brick factory consist of human traffickers, labor contractors, participating local police officers and other local officials. When the case broke, Li Fulin, deputy-director general of Shanxi Provincial Public Security Bureau, claimed that the underground brick factory represents a dark corner of society that would be cracked down on firmly. High-ranking officials have played a “positive” role and some of these slaves were rescued.

What about the criminals that conduct the organ harvesting program? They include medical doctors, committing crimes in labor camps, detention centers, prisons, and hospitals, and the military. Who is the highest-ranking criminal in this case? This still hasn’t been determined, though some suggest that it remains a top secret within the Chinese communist regime. However, we do know that the suppression of Falun Gong comes from the very top of the Chinese regime. The highest-ranking officials of the CCP orchestrate this persecution, so who can we rely on to rescue these victims?

Family Members of the Missing

Some of the child slaves in Shanxi’s underground brick factories were rescued because their parents worked tirelessly for their release—a natural impulse when a loved one is in danger. Yet for this very reason, after the heinous crimes of the organ harvesting program were exposed, many people refused to believe that such an evil act could occur. They concluded: if so many people were missing, why didn’t their family members look for them?

In fact, it is not that their families hadn’t looked for them. Like all information concerning the Falun Gong persecution, the regime thwarted any attempts to dig deeper into the matter.

It is a situation with which I am intimately familiar. In 2000, I was arrested for practicing Falun Gong. My husband was informed of my arrest and imprisonment, but wasn’t told in which labor camp I was kept. He spent four months struggling to locate me, but his efforts were in vain; everyone he approached refused to give him any information. Even if he intended to stake it all in his fight to find me, there was no one to fight with. Governmental agencies and law enforcement agents firmly believe that part of their job is to convince these desperately searching individuals that they are in fact to blame for the disappearance of their family members because they failed to convince them to give up Falun Gong.

In a country run by state terrorism, Falun Gong practitioners are demonized and labeled as dissidents. Their families strongly oppose their cultivation and even threaten divorce or ostracize them because of what they’ve been told about Falun Gong. Many practitioners, who traveled to Beijing to make an appeal for Falun Gong, vanish mysteriously. Some of their family members dare not search for them, fearing that they might face the same fate. They often have nowhere to turn, being unable to even share their pain at the loss of a loved one. In extreme cases, family members are even forced to cooperate with local authorities in this crackdown. They aid in imprisoning elderly Falun Gong practitioners who often die in detention at last.

Scale and Level of Crimes

When comparing the scale and level of these crimes, consider that the brick factories are largely unorganized operations of independent gangs, while the organ harvesting program is a meticulous operation backed by a state-run crackdown. Because organ harvesting runs all the way to the top, it enjoys the assistance of high-ranking officials, the resources of a major part of the state apparatus, many highly skilled individuals, and the ability to quickly cover up information and destroy evidence. These tools were not available to the criminals running the underground brick factories.

As a result, the world is shocked and appalled at the brick factories, but refuses to believe in the organ harvesting program. Particularly in China, the facts of this crime have been completely concealed within the country, thus remaining unknown to the public.

What these two incidents have in common are that its victims are seen as less than human by the society at large—they are viewed merely as free labor or an organ supply. Through violence, these “sub-humans” become the possessions of enterprising criminals. With such a mentality, if underground brick factories can occur, there should be nothing incredible or shocking about an organ harvesting program.

The public remains unwilling to believe in allegations of an organ harvesting program—such an atrocity indeed boggles the mind and many are simply not mentally prepared to envision such a cold-blooded reality. Yet once these allegations are seriously considered and the evidence weighed, individuals will be tortured by their conscience and forced to question their own morality and sense of justice.

– original article from the Epochtimes : Comparing Slavery and Organ Harvesting

Posted in Asia, Child Labour, Children, China, Commentary, Communist Party, Crime against humanity, Economy, Falun Gong, Family, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Religious, Rural, Slave labour, Social, Worker, World | Comments Off on China Slavery and Organ Harvesting: Are you imaginative enough?

Fast-Growing China Says Little of Child Slavery’s Role

Posted by Author on June 21, 2007

By HOWARD W. FRENCH, New York Times, June 21, 2007-

SHANGHAI, June 20 — There is a certain ritualistic aspect to stories in China like the one this past week about the hundreds of people, many of them teenagers or even younger, who were forced to work under slavelike conditions in the brick kilns of Shanxi Province. First, Chinese readers are horrified by a picture of their country that many say they hardly recognize, then a villain is rounded up, and finally, after a torrent of unusually blunt and emotionally charged news reports and editorials, the matter drops from view, ensuring that the larger issue goes unresolved.

The villain in the case was Heng Tinghan, the manager of the brick works, who was arrested Saturday and promptly cemented his bad-guy image by protesting that it was a “fairly small thing” to beat and abuse underage workers, and to deprive them of pay. With his arrest, and the urging of the Central Office of External Communication of the Communist Party, the story then died away. But Chinese newspapers are constantly peppered with accounts of the death and injury of child laborers, and of disputes that arise because of unusually low wages, or the withholding of pay, with no region of the country exempted.

Just within a week or so of the brick kiln story, there were several reports of labor abuses against children. A 14-year-old boy was killed in an explosion while filling a tank with napthalene at a chemical factory near Nanjing. A 15-year-old boy was dragged into a cotton gin and crushed to death in Nanchang after working a succession of 20-hour days. And 70 girls from rural Henan Province were brought by their teacher to work at a grape processing plant in Ningbo, where their hands bled from working 16-hour shifts.

From the densely packed factory zones of Guangdong Province to the street markets, kitchens and brothels of major cities, to the primitive factories of China’s relatively poor western provinces, child labor is a daily fact of life, experts here say, and one that the government, preoccupied with economic growth, has traditionally turned a blind eye to.

“In order to achieve modernization, people will go to any ends to earn money, to advance their interests, leaving behind morality, humanity and even a little bit of compassion, let alone the law or regulations, which are poorly implemented,” said Hu Jindou, a professor of economics at the University of Technology in Beijing. “Everything is about the economy now, just like everything was about politics in the Mao era, and forced labor or child labor is far from an isolated phenomenon. It is rooted deeply in today’s reality, a combination of capitalism, socialism, feudalism and slavery.” (…… more details from New York Times’ website)

Posted in Child Labour, Children, China, Economy, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, People, Rural, Slave labour, Social | 2 Comments »

China Child Slavery Not Limited to Brickyards

Posted by Author on June 20, 2007

by Karen Meirik, Radio Netherlands, Netherlands, 20-06-2007-

China was shocked by the recently televised images of weakened children and adults that were forced to work as slaves in Shanxi province brick yards. But this particular scandal, which even made it to state-run media, may just be the tip of the iceberg. All over China, children and young men are missing.

Last week, the police freed 568 people that worked as slaves in Henan en Shanxi provinces. Some of the liberated slaves are suffering from mental illness. 168 people were arrested in the case.

But this local success story does not solve China’s slavery problem. China’s increasing demand for building materials and fuel is causing a need for cheap labour in brick yards and often illegally operated coalmines. Previous investigations show that males around the age of fifteen are considered to be the most suitable to be forced into slavery. They are physically strong but can still easily be intimidated.

But it’s not only the brickyards and coalmines that make use of young slaves. Male babies are sold to childless couples. And it’s not males only either that are victimized. Young girls also are sold as domestic slaves, prostitutes or child brides.

Margaret Ward is a nurse with the ‘Xinxing Aid for Homeless Children in Baoji’. Many children that have escaped slave traders end up in this shelter in Central China.

“Recently we had an eleven year old boy who escaped from a brick yard. But many children are also forced to work in restaurant kitchens.”

According to Ms Ward the slave traders are specifically looking for children from rural areas.

“Their parents often work in the city, and the children are raised by family. Often they are neglected, they are fed only once a day and they watch a lot of television. They have a naïve perception of life in the big city and they are easily conned by slave traders.”Violence
The traders often find their victims at bus and train stations, but Ms Ward says that some kids are violently abducted. The price for a child slave is around 500 yuan (50 euro). One boy from Xinjiang in the Northwest of the country only remembers being hit over the head as a smelly cloth was pushed against his nose. He came to in a moving train somewhere in central China.

According to Ms Ward the children are forced to obey their owners.
“Sometimes boiling water is poured over their legs or they are being tied up. Also they are threatened that their families may get hurt. Since many of the children don’t have any id cards they’re afraid to go to the police.”

An article published in China Business News purportedly confirms the suspicion that the police are bribed by slave traders. Chinese Internet forums are calling for punishment of the involved officials.

But Beijing is also trying to sooth the unrest. Last week the ‘Internet Bureau’ called on Chinese news websites to remove ‘harmful information aimed at attacking the party.

original report from Radio Netherlands

Posted in Child Labour, Children, China, Economy, Health, Law, News, People, Rural, Slave labour | 1 Comment »

CHINA: Child Labour Scandal Exposes Gross Corruption

Posted by Author on June 18, 2007

By Antoaneta Bezlova, Inter Press Service (IPS), Italy, Jun 18, 2007-

BEIJING, Jun 18 (IPS) – An unfolding national scandal on the large-scale abuse of child labourers in the brick kiln industry raises questions on the adequacy of planned labour laws that are supposed to take on sweatshops and protect workers’ rights.

The first signs of the scandal surfaced early June when local newspapers carried a staggering photograph of a group of migrant workers freed after more than a year of slave labour in a brick kiln in central China.

By the standards of the Chinese state-sanctioned press, which frowns on sensationalism, the photograph was more than shocking — it showed people who were bruised, wounded and burnt, with clear signs of malnutrition and dazed expressions of disbelief at their sudden freedom.

Yet, the story accompanying the photograph was even more astounding in a country where the ruling Communist Party was swept to power for its pledges to create a workers’ paradise.

The 32 migrants had been duped into believing that they were being offered paid jobs, but once inside the brickworks in the Caosheng village of Shanxi province they were forced to work under the watch of guards and dogs for 18 hours a day. None received any money for the whole time of their enslavement and they survived only on water and steamed rolls of bread.

When a police raid freed the migrants late last month it was discovered that one man had been beaten to death with a hammer. Among the others, eight were so traumatised that they could only remember their names. All had burns on their hands and bodies from having to carry the hot bricks without protection. Their clothes had been reduced to rags and “the grime on their bodies was so thick it could be scraped off with a knife,” said the report in the Shanxi Evening News.

The brick kiln was operated by a foreman identified as Heng Tinghan, but owned by the son of the local Communist Party chief. According to local villagers, the brickworks were illegal but still allowed to operate with the tacit agreement of the local police and officials because the party boss’s son owned them.

The extraordinary revelations were followed by an open letter circulated on Chinese Internet fora, alleging that at least 1,000 children aged between eight and 16 years have been enslaved in the illegal brick kilns in Shanxi province.

The letter, signed by 400 fathers from the central province of Henan, pleaded for help in their self-organised campaign to rescue the kidnapped children. It said the children had been kidnapped or forced into cars in urban Henan centres such as the capital Zhengzhou, then sold to factory bosses for about 500 yuan (65 US dollars) each.

Henan borders Shanxi province whose rugged terrain was once used by Mao Zedong’s military strategists to hide thousands of factories churning out arms and ammunition in the late 1960s. Many of these caves now house illegal brick kilns, according to Henan fathers, where kidnapped children and migrants worked in horrific conditions.

“The places those children lived in were worse than dog kennels,” Chai Wei, a Henan father who had managed to enter several dozen brickworks in search for his missing son, told the ‘Xinjingbao’ newspaper. “There were no beds — they slept on wooden planks, and the walls were covered in excrement. We were scared stiff by what we saw.”

Chai had spearheaded the rescue efforts of nearly one hundred parents who pooled money to hire a car and go around the brickworks in Shanxi. Their search had managed to salvage around 100 children, Chai said, but there were hundreds more. His 17-year-old son, who disappeared from Zhengzhou in April, has not been found yet.

“We got no help whatsoever from the local police,” Chai complained bitterly. “Many of the local police are close to the kilns’ owners and would warn them ahead if a search party was coming. We learned not to rely on them (the police) but to tour the kilns one by one ourselves.”

The discovery of provincial webs of slave labour was made public just as China is preparing to adopt a new labour law which has been deliberated by legislators for many months. The new law aims to crack down on sweatshops and workers’ abuses by giving state-controlled unions real power for the first time since Beijing introduced market reforms in the 1980s.

Over the last ten years China’s economy has been growing at double-digit rate thanks to the labour of millions of migrant workers churning out goods for export in exchange for low wages. But, as the economy boomed labour disputes multiplied. More and more workers have gone to court or taken to the streets to protest poor working conditions and overdue pay.

The government has described the new legislation as a fresh attempt to improve worker protection and stop labour abuses. But it is not clear how effective it would be in this vast country where many local officials tend to ignore or skirt directives from the central government.

Workers’ advocates argue that enforcement powers would be improved only if Beijing allows independent labour unions.

“With no supervision or advocacy from the collective power of labour, laws and central government resolutions will not be respected or administered,” says Cai Chongguo, labour rights expert with the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin.

After all, China already has a labour law and a law on protection of minors, but neither could prevent the forced labour scandal in Shanxi, noted a signed commentary by the Xinhua News Agency on Sunday.

“The reason why such flagrant crimes were committed in the brick kilns of Shanxi is that businessmen and local officials worked hand-in-glove,” the commentary said.

The ‘China Youth Daily’ went even further, calling the uncovered slavery a “shocking disgrace”, exposing officials’ dereliction of duty. “When a law is massively undercut in its implementation so that it becomes a worthless piece of paper, then it’s necessary to rethink the law itself,” the paper said. (END/2007)

original article from IPS

Posted in Asia, Central China, Child Labour, Children, China, corruption, Economy, employment, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Report, Rural, Shanxi, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, Worker | Comments Off on CHINA: Child Labour Scandal Exposes Gross Corruption

Modern Slavery in China: Status of Chinese Worker

Posted by Author on June 17, 2007

Jonathan Watts in Beijing, The Guardian, UK, Saturday June 16, 2007 –

Beijing (The Guardian)- More than 450 slave workers – many of them maimed, burned and mentally scarred – have been rescued from Chinese brick factories in an investigation into illegal labour camps, it emerged yesterday.

The victims, including children as young as 14, were reportedly abducted or tricked into labouring at the kilns, where they toiled for 16 to 20 hours a day for no pay and barely enough food to live.

According to the state media, they were beaten by guards and kept from escaping by dogs. At least 13 died from overwork and abuse, including a labourer who was allegedly battered to death with a shovel.

Such cruelty appears to have been commonplace and, until this week, ignored by local governments intent on boosting economic growth at any cost.

Their plight was revealed by one of the biggest known police operations in the country’s history.

In the past week 35,000 police have inspected 7,500 kilns in the countryside of Shanxi and Henan provinces, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. They have arrested 120 suspects and freed 468 slaves, including 109 juveniles.

The results of this probe into the darkest corners of Chinese society have shocked the nation. Since the first case was revealed on June 8, newspapers and television broadcasts have been filled with images of the wounded, emaciated and traumatised slaves. Some were so badly hurt they had to be carried out on stretchers.

Their living conditions were appalling. According to local media they were locked for years in a bare room with no bed or stove, allowed out only to work in the red-hot kilns, from where they would carry heavy, burning loads of newly fired bricks on their bare backs. Many were badly scalded. Fifteen-minute meal-breaks consisted only of steamed buns and cold water.

One of the labourers, 17-year-old Zang Wenlong, told a TV station that the kiln where he worked for three months in Caosheng village in Shanxi was a “prison”. He said he had been abducted from a train station.

The huge police investigation was prompted by 400 parents of missing youths, who posted a petition on the internet last week, accusing local officials of ignoring their suspicions.

Yang Aizhi told Xinhua that she went looking for her 16-year-old son in March after hearing that he might have been forced to work at a brick factory.

In visits to dozens of kilns in Shanxi – a province famous for its coal and heavy industry – she found children still in school uniform who were pressed into hard labour.

President Hu Jintao and prime minister Wen Jiabao ordered an investigation, compensation for victims and severe punishment for traffickers and jailers. The leaders rose to power on a promise to improve the conditions of those left behind by the country’s breakneck development.

But many commentators believe high-profile investigations only scratch the surface of child labour, trafficking and slavery. With no free media, independent courts or rival political parties, it is easy for local officials to conspire with factory owners to ignore labour laws. “If China really gave the media freedom, you would see stories like this appearing all the time,” said Qiao Mu, of Beijing Foreign Study University.

Internet chatrooms were buzzing with criticism of the local authorities. “My feeling is that local officials and police benefit from the brick industry and that’s why these appalling things could happen,” said one post. “The boss and local gangsters are not the only criminals. The courts should also sentence local officials who were bribed off,” said another.

– original report from The Guardian: Enslaved, burned and beaten: police free 450 from Chinese brick factories

–  400 Chinese Fathers of Child Slaves Seek Help Online, Wed Jun 13, 2007

Posted in Child Labour, Children, China, corruption, Economy, employment, Health, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, People, Rural, Slave labour, Social, Worker | 7 Comments »

31 Slave Labors Rescued From China Factory Owned By Son of Official

Posted by Author on June 10, 2007

By Michael Bristow, BBC News, Friday, 8 June 2007-Slaves, China

( BBC News, Beijing)- Thirty-one dirty and disorientated workers have been rescued from a brickwork factory in China, where they were being held as virtual slaves.

(photo from BBC website)

Eight workers were so traumatised by their experiences that they were only able to remember their names.

The labourers had to work unpaid for 20 hours at a time, and were only given bread and water in return.

The brickworks, in the poor inland province of Shanxi, is owned by the son of the local Communist Party secretary.

Local police told the BBC that the owner, Wang Binbin, had been arrested, and that his father, Wang Dongji, was under investigation.

Several other people have also been arrested, although the foreman is still on the run.

Harsh regime

According to a report in the Beijing News, citing the Shanxi Evening News, the rescued workers had been duped into working at the factory.

Once there, they faced a harsh regime. One man was even reported to have been beaten to death with a hammer, because he did not work fast enough.

When police raided the brickworks they discovered foul-smelling workers who had been wearing the same clothes for a year.

They had no facilities to wash, and they had not had their hair cut or brushed their teeth.

“The grime on their bodies was so thick it could be scraped off with a knife,” the Beijing News said.

They had burns over their bodies after being made to carry bricks that had not cooled down properly.

Police are now arranging for the workers to get the wages they should have been paid, and then they will send them home, although the eight disorientated workers cannot remember where that is.

Local people said the brickworks, near Linfen, would have been closed down a long time ago had it not been for the protection of the party secretary.

China has tens of millions of migrant workers.

They leave their rural homes in search of work, but often have to endure harsh conditions, bad treatment and low pay.

There is little they can do about their lot, particularly when, as in this case, factory owners are protected by powerful local officials.

– original report from BBC News: ‘Slaves’ rescued from China firm

Posted in Central China, China, corruption, Economy, employment, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, People, Rural, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, Worker | 2 Comments »

China Slave Labor Floods NAFTA Marketplace With Cheap Goods

Posted by Author on August 23, 2006

by Jerome R. Corsi, HUMAN EVENTS, Aug 21, 2006–

The NAFTA marketplace unrestrained in the pursuit of cheap labor has driven an increasing volume of manufacturing off-shore to Communist China, where slave prison camps offer a cost of labor that is hard to beat.

Chinese made goods ranging from electronics to toys and clothes are daily sold in mass marketing retailers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, K-Mart, Target, Lowes, and dozens of other U.S. corporations. Cheap goods from Communist China increasingly line the shelves of the NAFTA marketplace under marquee product trade names that bear no relationship to the Chinese slave labor that manufactured, produced, or otherwise assembled the goods.

Key to this thriving under-market is a flagrant disregard for human rights, on the part of the Communist Chinese, who still permit the exploitation of slave labor. U.S. capitalists and consumers as well turn a blind eye to the human suffering and abuse involved in producing the under-market cheap goods flooding the American retail market from China.

The Chinese slave labor camps set up first under Mao in the 1950s are known as Laogai. Writing for the Human Rights Brief at American University’s Washington College of Law, Ramin Pejan explains that the Laogai system consists of three distinct types of reform: convict labor (Laogai), re-education through labor (Laojiao), and forced job placement (Jiuye). The political nature of these Chinese prison labor camps is clear.

The PRC (People’s Republic of China) uses Laojiao to detain individuals it feels are a threat to national security or it considers unproductive. Individuals in Laojiao may be detained for up to three years. Because those in Laojiao have not committed crimes under PRC law, they are referred to as “personnel” rather than prisoners and they are not entitled to judicial procedure. Instead, individuals are sent to the Laojiao following administrative sentences dispensed by local public security forces. This vague detainment policy allows the PRC to avoid allegations that the individual’s arrest was politically motivated and to assert that they were arrested for reasons such as “not engaging in honest pursuits” or “being able-bodied but refusing to work.”

Pejan notes that even though they have completed their sentence some 70 percent of the prisoners are forced to live in specifically assigned locations where they continue to work in the prison camp. In a cruel slogan that brings to mind the “Arbeit Mach Frei” entrance to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Penan notes that Laogai is an abbreviation for Laodong Gaizao which translates from Mandarin as “reform through labor.” ( details from HUMAN EVENTS)

Posted in Businessman, China, Economy, Labor camp, Law, Made in China, People, Politics, products, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, Worker, World | 3 Comments »

Stories of “Made in China” (2)

Posted by Author on July 17, 2006

France resident: My Experience in a Chinese Labor Camp

Chen Ying I was imprisoned between November 2000 and November 2001 for refusing to give up practicing Falun Gong. During that period of time, I was held in servitude at the Tuanhe Prisoner Dispatch Center and the Xin’an Forced Labor Camp in Beijing.

Products Made


  1. Beijing Tuanhe Prisoner Dispatch Center
    • Packaged large quantities of disposable chopsticks. Most of them were for use in restaurants and hotels, while some were exported.
    • Made “Florence Gift Packages”
  2. Beijing Xin’an Labor Camp
    • Packaged large quantities of disposable chopsticks. Most of them were for use in restaurants and hotels, while some were exported.
    • Knit sweaters.
    • Knit woolen gloves (exported to Europe).
    • Crocheted cushions for tea sets.
    • Crocheted hats for a company in Qinghe Township, Beijing.
    • Knit seat cushions.
    • Re-processed sweaters; removed sundries from yarn.
    • Made large quantities of slippers. The job was mainly gluing the sole and the instep together, and the labor camp demanded a high-quality product. When I was there, it was the hottest time of the summer. Many practitioners and I were working in our prison cells. Working in a humid prison cell full of irritating glue odors was suffocating. We worked until midnight or one o’clock in the morning every time there was a shipment.
    • Made stuffed animals, such as rabbits, bears, dolphins, penguins, etc. Major steps included putting the stuffing material inside, stitching the doll together, sewing the eyes, stitching the mouth, etc.

The Sanitation and Living Conditions of the Forced Labor Camp

(1) Beijing Tuanhe Prisoner Dispatch Center

I was locked up with over a dozen other Falun Gong practitioners in a cell that was about twelve square meters (130 square feet) in size. There were only eight bunk beds in the room; thus, some of us had to sleep on the floor. We did everything in this cell, including working, eating, drinking, and using the toilet; therefore, there were many flies and mosquitoes. We were allowed to eat only at certain times. Water was rationed, and drinking water was limited. The prison guards never allowed us to wash our hands before meals. After a meal, we had to get back to work immediately. Twice a day, we were given five minutes for personal hygiene. When the time was up, we were forced to stop and not allowed to take any water back to our cell. If we could not finish the work assigned to us, we were not allowed to clean ourselves. When there was a rush to get products out, we had to work late and go to sleep without washing. There were fixed times for the whole group of practitioners to go and use the toilet. Even then, we still had to ask the guards for permission. We were allowed two minutes to use the toilet each time; thus, many people did not even have enough time to have a bowel movement. We could go to bed only at the specified time; otherwise, we would be scolded and not allowed to sleep. At night, the guards locked up all the cells. A small bucket in each cell was used for a toilet. We were watched even during sleep.

We were allowed very little sleep each day, and forced to start working the moment we opened our eyes. My hands had blisters and thick calluses from working long hours to finish the assigned quota of packaging disposable chopsticks. I often worked until midnight. We were not allowed to sleep unless we finished the quota. We were forced to work over 16 hours every day, and everything was done in our cells. The sanitation conditions were extremely poor. Even though we were packaging disposable chopsticks and the label said the chopsticks were disinfected at a high temperature, the entire process was unhygienic. We could not wash our hands, and we had to package those chopsticks that had fallen on the floor. In order to seek a huge profit, Tuanhe Prisoner Dispatch Center and Tuanhe Labor Camp disregarded the health of the general public and knowingly committed such wrongdoings. Many restaurants in Beijing are currently using these chopsticks. I heard they are even being exported to other countries.

Female practitioners are forced to perform excessive physical labor. We were forced to unload trucks full of bagged materials that weighed over 100 pounds each. We had to carry the bags on our shoulders from the truck to our cells. Other physical labors included digging pits, planting trees, and transporting fertilizers. The police exploited our labor to create illegal income for themselves. The dispatch center did not compensate us for any of our work. In fact, we were forced to do long and hard labor without any compensation.

(2) Beijing Xin’an Labor Camp

Both our bodies and minds were imprisoned and severely persecuted under the excessive workload. The police often prevented us from sleeping at regular hours. When there were work orders, we had to work day and night to produce the best product in the shortest amount of time.

All the work in the labor camp is labor-intensive. Falun Gong practitioners are forced to work until midnight under dim lights, and everyone has a quota to meet. If a practitioner cannot finish the quota, he/she is not allowed to sleep. One time we were making gift items for Nestlé; these items included knitted products and crocheted cushions. In order to meet the shipping deadline, we were forced to work in the hallway or lavatories until one or two o’clock in the morning; sometimes we worked through the whole night. The police used this method to control our thoughts. They would not let us have a single moment of idle time to think calmly, and we were not allowed to talk to each other. They had drug addicts and “transformed” practitioners monitoring us. They wanted us to do nothing but work.

During summer time, our cells were so hot that people sometimes collapsed from heat exhaustion. Many practitioners developed symptoms of hypertension and heart disease from overwork. Their entire bodies twitched.


Ms. Chen Ying was detained three times for practicing Falun Gong. She had been sent to a forced labor camp for one year while she was visiting her family in China. Prison guards forcefully injected her with toxic drugs, resulting in damage to the nerves on the left side of her body, spasms, and partial memory loss. Ms. Chen is currently residing in France.



Stories of “Made in China”: (1) (2)

Posted in Beijing, Beijing Tuanhe, Beijing Xin'an, China, Economy, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Health, Human Rights, Labor camp, Law, Life, Made in China, News, People, Politics, products, Religion, Religious, Report, Slave labour, Social, Trade, Women, World | 1 Comment »

Stories of “Made in China” (1)

Posted by Author on July 17, 2006

In this issue, we continue our discussion of slave labor in China.

The Chinese communist regime has one primary goal: to maintain power at all cost.

Those who insist on their beliefs and place their conscience above the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) face the full weight of the Chinese regime. For having such courage, they may be charged with “betraying” their homeland or “revealing state secrets.” They risk loss of reputation, long-term imprisonment, torture, and even death.

A primary method of suppression is punishment by “re-education through labor.” Skilled at propaganda that twists logic and common sense, the CCP claims that such punishment gives people a chance to “reform” themselves. Crushed by methods perfected over the ages, they give up their conscience and “reform” into “patriotic” beings that never question the CCP.

The low cost of products made with slave labor has attracted great demand for them around the world. For corrupt officials, the forced labor camps are such a profitable business that they care little that the millions of inmates in the estimated 1,200 camps nationwide have never had a trial or a chance to defend their innocence.

We bring you the stories of two such souls – Falun Gong practitioners who were imprisoned for their beliefs and forced to endure “re-education” through grueling forced labor for refusing to betray their conscience, making goods for export to western countries.

——— Story 1 ——–

I Hope Children Don’t Put Them in Their Mouths

By Wang Bin, Ph.D.

Wang Bin, Ph.D.During the years 2000 and 2001, the Chinese National Security Division of the Beijing Police Department arrested a large group of intellectuals who practiced Falun Gong, including university professors. They were tortured until they accepted the Party’s “reeducation.” This was proclaimed to the outside world as being done gently as “a breeze and rainfall in spring.” I was one of them.

I was kept in a gloomy prison cell on death row with about 30 prisoners who were waiting to be executed. The cell was only about 30 square meters (about 323 square feet). When I was first imprisoned in this cell, I could smell all kinds of stinky odors from feces, urine, mold, rotten flesh and materials. After a few months, I could no longer smell anything. I was used to the smell that permeated the cell all day.

It was so quiet in the cell that one could even hear a needle drop. Everyone took advantage of this short silence to ponder over his past. One day after another, quite a few people were getting closer and closer to execution day.


The prison cell had two doors, the front and the back. The front door was a thick iron door and an iron fence. The back door was also an iron door, as big as the front door. The front door was an entrance-exit where prisoners were escorted in and out, or dragged out for execution.

Ten armed-policemen guarded the door against potential runaways. Every time the front door was opened, it could mean someone was to die soon.

Air and Sun

“Open the cage!” the loud shout came from a policeman standing on the top. It broke into my thinking and the stillness of the cell. The pale, unkempt prisoners started to show a hint of happiness on their faces. One by one, prisoners walked outside of the back door. They nodded and bowed to show their gratitude to the policeman. Then they quickly occupied a place with more sunlight.

The first time I was let out, I was shocked by what I saw. The first thing the prisoners did was get naked. The scabies, sores and psoriasis on their bodies were fully exposed. I was not too surprised by this.

Survivors and Labor

If they were not sentenced to death, the inmates surviving the detention center were sent to prisons to complete their sentence and do slave labor. They brought their infections and sexually transmitted diseases with them to the prisons, while they provided a vast cheap work force. An amazing number of products made in China are produced in prisons and forced labor camps.

In May 2002, I was sent to the Beijing Repatriation Division of Provincial Criminals with several other Falun Gong practitioners. We were waiting to be repatriated to other prisons to serve our sentence. From this experience I gained a real understanding of the forced labor in prisons.

We were expected to labor tirelessly. The routine was to labor for 15 or 16 hours a day. If anyone had trouble finishing the assigned work, he was punished by having to “sing until the dawn,” which meant he had to keep working and could not sleep. Since the cells were more than full, the prisoners had no time to take care of personal hygiene. They counted the days, with their diseases worsening day by day.

I was arrested for practicing Falun Gong. I had committed no crimes. So I just considered myself as a “correspondent” sent there to seriously observe what was happening around me. I hoped that one day my observations would enable the world to have a better understanding of what goes on in Chinese prisons.

From Christmas to Underwear

Our tasks included packing women’s underwear, making copies of audio and video materials, attaching trademarks to various products, processing books, binding books, and making fishing floats, colored Christmas bulbs and accessories to be exported. I participated in all of the manual labor and had a good understanding of each work procedure.

During one hot summer, the prison authorities ordered us to make packages for Gracewell underwear. It was really hot and yet the prisoners hadn’t showered for a very long time. They scratched all over their bodies, while being engaged in manual labor. Some of the prisoners scratched their private parts every now and again. When they took out their hands, I saw blood on their fingernails. I was not sure if women would really look graceful in that underwear.

Another time, the prisoners processed a kind of packaged food called “Orchid Beans” for some small business owners. This snack was made from broad beans. They kept trucking broad beans into the prison. In the prison there were barrels in which the broad beans were soaked in water until they were swollen. To spare themselves some trouble when changing water in the barrels, sometimes the prisoners would dump a whole barrel of beans into a dirty urinal and then pour water into the barrel putting the beans inside. When the beans became swollen in the water, the prisoners would start to peel the beans. In front of each person there was a set of parallel knives. The prisoner picked up a bean, rolling it over the knife and removing the bean skin on either side leaving a “golden belt” in the middle. In this way the beans looked good, though they were dirty and muddy. Then, the last step was to throw the beans back into the basket.

At least 10,000 beans had to be peeled in one day to finish the assignment. As the prisoners bustled around peeling the beans, their mucus and sputum mixed with the beans. Then the processed beans were put into a big bag to be taken to the stores where they would be fried. The fried broad beans looked golden and shining. They packed them in beautiful packages and sold them to customers.

The broad beans are in demand in the market and thus provide a high profit to sellers. Consumers enjoy the beans. In a U.S. supermarket, I saw fried broad beans imported from China. I wondered if our prison had made those beans.

Annually, a large number of Christmas items and clothing for western countries are made in Chinese prisons. Once the prison was assigned to make light bulbs. Every day prisoners were supposed to tie copper wires tightly around a plastic tank in a fixed shape and then connect all the light bulbs together. The prisoners’ hands were usually bleeding. Needless to say, that stuff from their skin and sexually transmitted diseases were left on the light bulbs.

Once the prison I was in made strings of beads as jewelry accessories. The prisoners used needles and thread to string colored beads and then connected the two ends to make a string of beads. The strings of beads looked beautiful. But, I hope that women don’t put them around their necks and that children will not put them in their mouths.

—- Story 2: My Experience in a Chinese Labor Camp, Ms. Chen Ying, currently residing in France

Posted in China, Economy, Falun Gong, Law, Made in China, People, products, Religion, Religious, Slave labour, Social, World | 3 Comments »

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