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. Marianne

    I didn't know Apple used bricks in their iPads.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Biff

      No, the bricks in this article are really dead iPads. They were beaten with bricked iPads. Shwack!

      September 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ARJim

    China already owns all US politicians.

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

    Why would ANYONE be surprised about this story!?

    September 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joker249

    Another day in the drama of "As The World Free Trade Global Economy Turns". If you shocked by this episode, stay tuned for upcoming shows, they promise to be alot more shocking than this.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ James:
    Under either capitalism or communism, a few people will always end up on top.
    That does not mean that it is wrong for a few people to succeed more than most others.
    Equal opportunity to succeed is the goal. Equal success can never be achieved by all citizens.
    A person born into an economy based on capitalism has a far greater chance of success than one born into communism.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcia Greenwood, IN

      Your answer has absolutely nothing to do with the story

      September 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      What article did you read?

      September 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cynthia

    Sounds like what will happen to American workers after the Repulicans outlaw Unions and a way for people to protect themselves against slavery and slave wages.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • vidkid

      Free trade and NAFTA were passed under Clinton....

      September 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Over-react much?

      No. No it doesn't.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      Yes, the Republican master plan and glimpse into our future. Anyone who doesn't see the war on middle class by the Republican party is either rich or extremely ignorant. BTW, I'm NOT a Democrat either.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      @vidkid and a Republican congress I do believe?

      September 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Unions are what is killing America's production industry.

      No one should be getting paid by any company for a year after they are FIRED. No one.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      @robert – so you aren't collecting or won't be collecting retirement benefits? Or cashing in on options given to you by the board as a retired executive?

      September 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      @robert – unions are what created the middle class – without them, we would still be a two class system. Which is exactly where we are headed thanks to the greed of politicians, corporations and yes unions. But most of all, thank the incredibly stupid American people, many of which are now part of the tea party

      September 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      @Keith – We can also thank the incredibly gullible, stupid people who believe liberal lies about sharing the wealth. They support the ideals of Karl Marx, where everyone is paid the same, lives in the same conditions, and no one has the upper hand. We saw how well that worked out for the Soviet Union, Cuba, and, as evidenced by the article, China. Grow up and try thinking for yourself rather than blindly following liberal talkshow hosts on, well, pretty much every network except Fox.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      @Ryan – I believe strongly in fair trade and an economic system that rewards people for their successes (and not equally). Given the fact that you cite Fox Lose tells me you are one of the stupid ones – look up the definitions of "fair" and "balanced" in the dictionary you idiot!

      September 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      @Keith – You are so dumb it's simply amazing. Point out where I quoted Fox News. Oh wait, you can't, because I didn't! I simply said that nearly every network out there except that one is biased toward liberals. I would call your stupidity willful ignorance, but I doubt your mind can comprehend something like that.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joker249

    And this is what our government makes our workers compete with so that a very few greedy people get to own the world. I think this Free Trade BS is costing us our way of life, and that is not free, at all.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. vidkid

    This is why corporations are outsourcing to China and 3rd world countries..... slave labor. Boycott corporations that outsource and buy only American made. Don't have blood on your hands so corporations can make billions in profits, and only save you a couple of cents!

    September 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leafonthewind

      I try to buy American made but it isn't always possible. There are some things we just don't make much anymore. Big-ticket items like cars, sure . . . mine was made in South Carolina, however, I'm certain that it includes many pieces and parts that were made in Asia. So please tell me, how do we boycott all products not made here?

      September 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • vidkid

      It will take some thinking and people organizing but I will start by reading the "made in" label first. Then looking at the company that is selling their product that's made out of the country and not buying from them. I research through the internet to find products only made here in the USA that I need to buy. But I agree with you, it sure isn't easy to find USA choices next to overseas junk!!

      September 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Recollections of China

    1.) In China, fraud is considered to be an offense worthy of execution. 2.) About 1,200 people were executed in China last year. 3.) There are more Chinese people with checking accounts than there are legal American citizens. 4.) Imagine if knowingly writing a hot-check were punishishable with death here in the USA how many would be executed ea. day. 5.) Your government wants you to think China can make stuff cheap because of slave labor. 6.) China produces over 53% of their own energy. 7.) Bush's Carlyle Group owns the mineral rights to the entire Caspian Basin region west of China 8.) China pays 27 dollars per bbl for oil purchased from The Group. 9.) With an American citizen being President of Afghanistan, the T.A.P.I (trans-afghan pipeline infrastrucure) is now open western interests, and with US troops offering security services, Carlyle Group's oil and Ng has been flowing through Afghanistan to China for years. 10.) If Obama ends the occupation, China will stop extending US credit.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Karzai is not an American citizen. I don't know if he ever lived in the USA. He has lived in England but spent most of his life in India.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joker249

      Well educated people making $3 per day. I would love to see China stop extending credit to the U.S.. If the American Unions had not been weekened so by the governments deliberate policy of not enforcing our borders, we would not be in this mess. A good day will come in America the day we round up all the traitors we have within our own borders and publically execute them for the crime (chosing greed over nation). The french did do something right!!!!!!!

      September 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Recollections of why jobs are exported

    1.) Shortly after 9/11, Congress voted-in the largest increase in prison funding ever. 2.) That same Congress increased education funding by less than 2%, a decrease given inflation 3.) American students lag-behind others due to lack of funding. 4.) American corporations begin exporting jobs to well-educated nations. 5.) "dey terk are jarbs" a saying made famous by TV's 'South Park' is comic relief for how dumbed-down we've become, so dumb we can't figure out why our jobs are going overseas. All we do is complain and remain ignernt.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Demo Joseph

    reminds me of the rich republicians in American making hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly and wanting to pay less taxes – while the middle class are paying more and more. Or rich Americans who make house slaves of Mexicans for a clean house – get off your a...s and clean your own home. Because pretty soon you may not have that home if you keeping living above your means....... like all of you do.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      @Demo Joseph – While I agree with you about how people should live within their means, your other "facts" are sorely misguided. You do know that the Democrats in Congress right now average much higher wealth than the Republicans do, right? On top of that, most of the millionaire and billionare Hollywood set are also Democrat, as are most of the rich in my neck of the woods. How do you think Obama and Hillary Clinton were able to raise so much cash for their run against McCain? It sure wasn't from the lower or middle classes.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mr Gumby

    I'd like to see two bricks flung together.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ksmary

    @vidkid NAFTA was agreed to by President GHW Bush in an official signing ceremony in San Antonio Texas. It was sent to congress for approval, modified slightly by President Clinton to include worker protections and envionmental protections then signed. All in all both parties had a hand in the thing.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • vidkid

      Agreed, you are correct. Both parties are responsible for our downfall! I would not have supported it if I were elected to congress. Fair trade works both ways... equal imports/exports.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Robert

    Made in China, Lets by more crap from China..........what a great idea.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Canadian Jim

    Fortunately this is the only instance of human rights abuses in China. Let's ramp up our trading status with this most favoured partner. Besides, what use are people?

    September 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
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