» 06/15/2007, 00.00
Enslaved children working in brick kilns in Shanxi and Henan
Police are investigating hundreds of cases involving abducted children and labourers held captive, beaten, underfed, and sometimes buried alive. Workers and families complain about the complicity between police, authorities and owners. A year from the Beijing Games, the country shows it is weak in enforcing child labour laws and protecting workers rights.
Many slave factories still operating
In many brick kilns no one has been arrested and slave owners are protected by the police, say parents of child slaves. Despite one foreman getting the death penalty for beating a worker to death, parents complain that many of those found guilty got light sentences. For example, one kiln owner gets only a few years.
Modern-day slaves are beaten and buried alive as police looks the other way
Freed “slaves” tell their horrific stories. Rescued by relatives they talk about police indifference. Children lured with promises of jobs are kidnapped and forced to work like adults. Factory owners threaten and beat parents who try to rescue their children and those of other parents.
Slave “owners” busted in Shanxi and Henan brick kilns
About 168 kidnappers, owners and guards involved in enslavement in brick factories and coal mines are arrested. Almost 500 “slaves” are freed, including 50 minors, some as young as eight years old. The actual number is probably much higher. Experts believe the problem to be widespread and to have been known to the authorities for quite some time.
Chinese slave labour trial opens in Shanxi
Kiln owner and his associates are on trial. In his Caosheng factory 31 workers are freed, the youngest of which was 14. Local media say suspects should also be accused of human trafficking and child labour
Xinjiang brick factory closed down for “slavery”
It stands accused of forcing workers, many of them children and mentally disabled, to over 20 hours of labour a day. Overtime was not paid and wages were months behind. The factory has been closed down and investigations are underway. A lawyer: the problem is the “laxity” of those who should be protecting workers rights.
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®