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Taking Texas And The Nation Back

Slavery Is Shameful – Corrupt World Legacy Continues

Posted by bosskitty on June 16, 2007

Reports of Forced Labor Unsettle China

Cheated out of their money when they sought to buy a ticket for the final leg of the journey home, their father, Su Jianjun, said in an interview, they were taken in by a woman who provided them with warm shelter and a meal on a cold winter night. She also offered them a chance to earn enough money to pay their fare by helping her sell fruit.

The next thing they knew, however, they were being loaded onto a minibus with several other children and taken to a factory in the next province, where they were pressed into service making bricks. Several days later, the boy, 16, escaped along with another boy and managed to reach home. A few days later, Mr. Su was able to rescue his daughter, 18.

This story and many others like it have swept China in recent days in an unfolding labor scandal in central China that involves the kidnapping of hundreds of children, most in their teens but some as young as 8.

The children, and many adults, reportedly, have been forced to work under brutal conditions — scantily clothed, unpaid and often fed little more than water and steamed buns — in the brick kilns of Shanxi Province.

 There is more to this article and many others that are appalling. 

Forced & child labour in Shanxi brickworks

Articles relating to the discovery of Shanxi brickworks holding workers in slave-like conditions, including children.

1. ‘Slaves’ rescued from China firm, Michael Bristow, BBC, 8 Jun 2007

2. 400 hundred children sold as ‘slaves’ to illegal brick works factories in Shanxi, China, Dahe.cn 06 Jun 2007

[Original article in Chinese. Title translation, and following summary of the article’s key points, provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]

Dahe.com published an open petition letter on June 6 from a group of 400 parents, striving to retrieve their lost sons, who had been captured as forced labourers in many notorious brick works factories in Shanxi, China. The children were lured or kidnapped at public locations in Zhengzhou, Henan Province such as train stations, bus stops and on the road side. They were each sold for around 500 yuan (about US$62) to work in the Shanxi brick factories, known as “dark factories”. When the parents visited the illegal brick factories in Linfen and Yongji cities of Shanxi, where most of the “dark factories” are located, they were stunned by what they found. The youngest of these children is aged 8. The children’s hair has not been cut for months or maybe years. Some have been held for over 7 years. Some has become disabled because of brutal beatings when caught trying to escape. Many have had their backs seriously burnt when they were forced to carry red-hot bricks on their backs. Slow or sick workers are beaten in order to ‘catch up with productivity’. Sick and injured workers are not hospitalized or even given any treatment.  All workers are held under round-the-clock surveillance by supervisors and guards.

Human trafficking and slavery is as rampant as it was in past centuries.  This is 2007! What have we learned?  Corporate complicity is driving this practice, cheap labor equals higher profits equals WalMart prices we all enjjoy …

Trafficking news monthly

Rights & Wrongs: Human Trafficking and More

Child Trafficking in Africa

Human Trafficking Thrives in Democratically Deficient Nations

So, we talk about all this until we are blue in the face.  We become numb and easily distracted by ‘fluff’ news media shouting about: Paris Hilton, Dancing With Stars, Rosie’s future, Obama’s latest fauxpaux,  Vioxx,  anti-aging medication and the price of gasoline.

We don’t recognize the connection between our personal actions (in-actions) and their impact upon the rest of the world.  That’s why voters bought the famous Bush line, “they hate us for our freedom”.  They hate us for our clueless abuse and disregard for anyone other than ourselves.  The poorest among us have more opportunities than much of the world.  Can you spell TV or Beer?  Such a “Christian” nation we are …

We are what we do, Not what we say!

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4 Responses to “Slavery Is Shameful – Corrupt World Legacy Continues”

  1. slivermoon22 said

    I know right? I AM OUTRAGED. I saw this too this morning. Cried my eyes for these people. These CHILDREN !!!! My god, when did we lose our way, when THINGS became more important than Love. I am glad to see you spreading the word. I was going to post too, and you beat me to it.

    Peace

  2. bosskitty said

    Welcome Slivermoon, thanks for sharing my sadness. I must vent my frustration at the insensitivity that has enveloped our world.

  3. danny bee said

    China, tear down this gate!

    by Dan Bloom

    Longtime observers of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have said,
    “The China question is open as long as the CCP rules China.” And as
    long as the gate of freedom in China remains closed, as long as this
    scar of a gate is permitted to stand, it is not the China question
    alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all
    humankind. Yet, today there is a message of hope inside China, a
    message of triumph, where slowly people are trying to take matters
    into their own hands and set up a democratic movement inside the
    country that can finally replace the CCP. It can happen and it will
    happen.

    Leaders of democratic countries around the world understood the
    practical importance of liberty — that just as truth can flourish
    only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can
    come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic
    freedom. China will learn that soon enough.

    In fact, even now, in a limited way, the current leaders of China may
    be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from
    Beijing about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political
    prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts and
    Internet sites are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises
    have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state
    control.

    Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the CCP? Or are they
    token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to
    strengthen the Chinese system without changing it? We welcome change
    and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together,
    that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of
    world peace. There is one sign the Chinese communists can make that
    would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of
    freedom and peace.

    President Hu Jintao, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for
    China and Hong Kong and Macao and Taiwan, if you seek liberalization:
    Come here to this gate of tyranny, and replace it with a gate of
    freedom! Mr. Hu, replace this gate! Mr. Hu, let freedom ring!

    I understand the fear of war and the pain of division that afflict the
    leaders of China today — and I know that my country will use all its
    efforts to help overcome these burdens. When freedom finally comes to
    the Chinese people, they and their leaders will be surprised how
    wonderful it feels.

    Today represents a moment of hope. We in the West stand ready to
    cooperate with China to promote true openness, to break down barriers
    that separate people, to create a safe, freer world.
    The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such
    violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to
    enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love
    and of worship an affront.

    As one looks at China today, from across the sea, one can perhaps
    catch a glimpse of some words crudely spray-painted upon the gate,
    perhaps by a young Bejinger: “This gate will fall. Beliefs become
    reality.” Yes, across China, this gate will fall. For it cannot
    withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The gate cannot withstand
    freedom.

  4. Brian said

    I see a couple of things that reflect some misunderstanding. I am going to take these in reverse order as I read back. Freedom–if you asked Chinese people a very great majority today would describe their lives as being free. Chinese people can move freely around their country, choose what career field they might, and many other \’freedoms.\’ Where are they not free. Some 40-50k web pages are block in China. Recently GooglePages was added to the block. People cannot (I believe) speak against the government in an open public forum. Many people speak their mind in private conversations. Satellite TV from outside of China is generally blocked, particularly, pornography, a bit of news, or any page that holds China or Chinese in a bad light or somehow encourages separation of any of \”its\” provinces. Their are \’elections\’ however generally only party members vote. Membership is a bit like joining the 4-H…you need sponsors and you get voted on, and you pay dews. The media in China is largely understood more as a PR tool of the government than a voice of society (unless you think in the collective sense that all Chinese do–society is one, not many).

    This whole slavery story broke in China on the internet first, in the form of a petition made by some 400 parents whose children from Henan Province had gone missing (taken to Shanxi). That happened a month ago because, they said, the police from Shanxi and Henan provinces both refused to investigate the missing children. Once the story broke widely on the internet, China Daily did a story. Nothing gets printed in China without the governments say-so. If it does people get fired and often go to jail.

    Whether this coverage was initiated by the Chinese government or got out because it was all over the internet, it hard to know. I can assure, this is not any kind of new openness of the Chinese government (at least not a collective government decision). They would absolutely never allow anything remotely close to this bad to be aired publicly. That why the police could choose not to investigate if they wanted. The police and government officials who take bribes on every level imaginable. If you want a job, you pay a bribe. Visa extension, you may have to pay a bribe. Want to open a \”black\” coal mine, pay a series of bribes. Want to keep your job, give the local communist leader a new TV. Want out of a speeding ticket, pay a bribe. Want to be let in to see if you kid has been kidnapped and is working in one if the brick kilns, pay a bribe. China\’s problem is not so much freedom, but corruption. Would a free press fight against corruption. Absolutely, but that is still a ways off.

    I don\’t know the spirit in which the president said what he did, however it rings true in some ways. The freedoms we enjoy do create problems when other governments desire to sweep things under the rug. However I don\’t think the bulk of Chinese are ready to chuck the system here. I think more than anything they would like to see an end to the out-of-control corruption.

    Human trafficking and slavery happened because people were allowed to get away with it, not at one point, but at several points along the way. The brick kilns have nothing to do with walmart. I assure they are not exporting bricks to walmart. It happened here because their economy has been booming and with that comes massive construction, however the country\’s government has not developed at a fast enough rate. China needs oversight of its industries and they need a generation to week out corruption out of people\’s practices.

    It is the same kind of corruption that inspired Karl Marx\’s socialist breaks. It shows that abuse of the workers has little to do with the economic system, but rather has much more to do with education and law enforcement, and the resultant corruption level of a society.

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