Officials trying to identify enslaved disabled workers rescued from brick kiln
This 2009 photo shows a deserted brick kiln similar to the one where Chinese officials recently rescued illegally employed workers.
September 7th, 2011
01:36 PM ET

Officials trying to identify enslaved disabled workers rescued from brick kiln

Authorities in China are struggling to identify 30 people they rescued from illegal brick kilns where they were being enslaved and abused, state-run media reported Wednesday.

The officials are having a difficult time identifying some of the workers because at least 17 of them are disabled or have a mental illness, police told the state-run China Daily newspaper.

"Some of them can't even speak a whole sentence, and they don't act like normal people," Liu Weiming, deputy director of publicity in Zhumadian, where the workers were rescued, told the state-run paper. "Most are staying at a relief station because they can't remember where they are from."

The China Daily said that the scandal was exposed by the City Report TV channel who reported that workers were "abducted from streets and railway stations and then sold to bosses at brick kilns for 300 yuan to 500 yuan ($45 to $80)."

Bai Shasha, one of the rescued victims, said he and his father got lost in March and were abducted when several people with knives approached him. He said during the time he was enslaved at the kiln he was regularly beaten with bricks or whips, China Daily reported. Bai also said he and other workers were forced to work all day long without any rest, and then they all slept in cramped confines at night.

China Daily reported that Liu said two bosses and a supervisor were detained in relation to the case. One of the supervisors, age 14, is accused of beating workers with whips.

The incident is not the first in China. In 2007, 2009 and 2010 more than 1,500 people have been rescued from illegal brick kilns. An investigation in 2007 found that more than 53,000 workers at kilns were illegally employed, according to previous state-run media reports .

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Filed under: China • Crime
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. rtertyhdf

    Should execute the entire staff of the brick factory then auction it off as an example.

    Although it seems that china likes to execute people who get caught doing stuff like this. But it also seems that if you dont get caught anything goes heh.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      China will most likely execute all by the 14 year old child.
      As for "Although it seems that china likes to execute people who get caught doing stuff like this. But it also seems that if you dont get caught anything goes heh.", isn't that true EVERYWHERE? That is the very definition of criminal activity!

      September 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Quite right.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARJim

      China is the most oppressive dictatorship in the world . . . and our best trading friend. They will kill these surplus people right away.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tony

    LOOKS LIKE THE PRICE OF BRICKS IS GOING UP. DARN IT!

    September 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harvy

      Ahh, sick humor, it will have to suffice. "lawlz"

      September 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Apocatequil

    "Some of them can't even speak a whole sentence, and they don't act like normal people"

    Barbaric! At least here in the United States we created a Tea Party for them to seek gainful employment.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melina319

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      Well played, sir.

      September 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • apostate

      nice one

      September 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      tea parties are for little girls

      September 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      now, that is funny

      September 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • agFinder

      And a Democratic party so those to whom 'gainful employment' are nasty words can seek welfare!

      September 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Maverick

    This is why we will never be able to compete with China, we pay them, China puts them to work. Not saying it's right, just saying.....

    September 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pete

    In other news, Great American Brick Co., headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Katy

    and we worry about china taking over the world.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joe

    i smell poop

    September 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. T3chsupport

    Wow, what a ghostly picture.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    @over it:
    They are?
    I'd like to read about that.
    What's your source?

    September 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. apostate

    sounds like what my job is turning into.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jdoe

    And of course the American worker need to compete against Chinese workers such as these.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. maglor

    Something like this can easily happen in USA in near future, if more people place self-interest above pity for the disadvantaged ,

    September 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joseph Curlimont

    Sounds like a republican wet dream to me.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GaryOwen27

    Isn't this one of the jobs proposals being circulated by the Red Neck Right?

    September 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Katy, 2:39:
    Are you saying that a country's allowing the enslavement of its mentally handicapped citizens would prevent that country's conquering the world?
    I submit that a country's allowing slavery would be irrelevant to its acquiring world domination.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
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