Join our Mailing List

"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Slavery and human trafficking continues in China

May 26, 2009

Tibetan Review
May 25, 2009

One of China’s biggest propaganda justifications
for its right to rule Tibet is that there was
slavery and feudal exploitation in Old Tibet.
However slavery of the most demeaning kind --
involving mentally handicapped people and
children -- remain a painful fact of life in
modern day China. With law enforcement officers
being in cahoots with the slave owners, a pretty
common complaint among parents of lost children,
only few are caught and punished. In a latest of
such cases, police in east China's Anhui Province
had arrested 10 suspects for allegedly beating
and forcing 32 mentally-handicapped people
working in brick kilns in slave-like conditions,
reported China’s official Xinhua news agency May 22.

The report said a team of 80 policemen raided the
kilns in Jeishou City on Apr 28 and freed the
victims. "All of them are mentally handicapped
people aged between 25 and 45. Few of them can
tell where they were from," it quoted the local
police chief Gao Jie as saying. They were forced
into hard labour for more than10 hours a day
without pay. Some of them were found beaten.

The report said police helped 19 of the victims
find their homes, while the remaining 13 had been
temporarily sheltered in a welfare house in
Jieshou, waiting for the families to pick them up.

Brick kiln owner Zhang had told police that he
"bought" the labourers from neighboring Shandong
Province, paying 200 to 300 yuan each from the
alleged trafficker, a taxi driver, on frequent
occasions. They were from Anhui, Shandong, Henan,
Hunan, Hubei and other provinces.

Earlier, a forced-labour scandal made headlines
in 2007, when a brick kiln boss in northern
Shanxi Province was found to have forced 1,340
people, including 367 handicapped, to work, said
the report. It said the case led to 95 officials
in the province being punished, with 29 brick
kiln bosses, foremen, supervisors and other
workers being tried by courts in seven separate cases.

Another Xinhua report May 22 cited China’s
Ministry of Public Security as saying police had
rescued 196 children and 214 women and broke up
72 human trafficking rings from Apr 9 to May 4.
It said most of these crimes had occurred in
Guizhou, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Shandong, Henan and Shanxi Provinces.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank