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. f

    Chinese enslaving their own people. Incredible. As bad a American slavery was, we picked on someone else from other countries. (NOT CONDONING SLAVERY !!!) Now you know why Wal-Mart has such low prices. They don't even pay for "real" voluntary labor at cheap wages. They use slaves at $0.00 per hour. This will come to an end and China's cheap labor "advantage" will fade over time. With their rapidly rising middle class buying middle class stuff, they will soon run out of slaves and cheap labor. Then they will be more on par with American labor costs, but still cheaper. American labor will then be cheap enough to feasibly manufacture in America again.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • conradshull

      I read somewhere the some Chinese manufactures are complaining they can't compete with cheap Vietnamese labor.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      f: I'm not sure where you come up with your assumption. As of 2010, the World Population estimate was 6942300000. China's population was 1339724852, or, over 1/5 of the world's people. Do you honestly think most of these people are going to enter middle class? China will never run out of slaves. China's incredible growth has been on their backs and their backs will be needed to support it, always.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Karen

    It's called 'sarcasm' folks. Get a grip. mikp: Do you have anything real to contribute to the discussion?

    September 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    @ the people who replied: Understand sarcasm much?

    September 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. OIL

    China pays 27 dollars for a barrel of oil. How much does the US pay?

    September 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      knopek.net puts the US cost of crude oil per barrel at $89.35.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. conradshull

    It's amazing how easy it is to bamboozle y'all with Richie Rich's obvious satire piece.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Richie Rich

    We, the world's elite love a Free Trade Global Economy, and none of us really care what you peasants like. The U.S. middle class and their trade unions are a thorn in our shoe, but with illegal immigration, we have just about stomped out the trade unions and now it is time to turn our fortunes against these pesky middle class Americans with their "I want to live under a roof and eat too" mentality.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Monocle Club Member

      So, Rich, you gonna get around to commenting on the actual post, or what? Because what you said seems to be in relation to some other post, not this one.

      September 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LOL

    Successful troll is successful.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bbrooker

    This is the kind of deregulation conservatives dream of to "job creation."

    September 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      And what flavor koolaid are you drinking today?

      September 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • da2

      Are these bricks available on the internet?

      September 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      Pat, bbrooker is right. As harsh as it is, occurrences like these are the end of the line for the race to the bottom. Chinese factory workers earn an average of 1.25/hr. We blame unions for "bloated" employee paychecks but never honestly think about where all this has has to end. Already, employers are leaving China for countries with even lower wages. Where does it end? Well sir, it "ends" right at this particular event. It ends at virtual or possible even real slavery. It ends at the cheapest rate a human can possibly work for: ZERO. That is the bottom line in the cult of "free markets."

      September 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Will

    REPARATIONS NOW!!! (TO THE CHINESE FROM THE CHINESE)

    September 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. old man

    Guess everyone failed irony at school

    September 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. KateB

    *LOL* Hyperbole, excellent~

    September 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Talking is not doing

    LOL, that was totally lol.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Yes, people being abused is so funny.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. US troops protect China

    China purchases about half of thei oil and Ng from an American group of former politicians and businessmen, The Carlyle Group. It flows through Afghan pipleines protected by troops occupying Afghanistan. Pull the troops and China goes down. Every single politician in washington is fully aware of this, for it has been going on for years. (major media blackout concerning this truth)

    September 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      There is quite a bit of , as you say, "media black out" in America.

      Manning is in the brig because he daerd to expose one fo those. Camera Footage of US helicopter machine guns shooting UPI journalists, along with good samaritans acting to take them to medical attention is freely available on you tube, but it is yet to be seen on any US news channel.

      Why no coverage on CNN-MSM or Fox?

      September 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wolfgang

    Ja, this seems like an excellent solution to many labor issues. Using the disabled and retarded as cheap labor is a reasonable use of these parasitic people. It is actually common practice in many countries. Heil Hitler.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      wolf: "Ja, this seems like an excellent solution to many labor issues. Using the disabled and retarded as cheap labor is a reasonable use of these parasitic people. It is actually common practice in many countries. Heil Hitler."

      This was the worst trolling attempt ever. Kudos.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. epicjourney

    Hello?? where is my post?

    September 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
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