Once again, brick factories in China were found to be using slave laborers. This time, there are 32 victims—all mentally disabled.
In 2007, the nation was shocked by reports that brick factories in central China’s ShanxiProvince used child slaves—the youngest only 8-years-old.
According to China’s state-run media, Xinhua News Agency, a middleman took 32 mentally disabled people from eastern China’s Shandong Province to nearby Anhui Province. The victims, who were tricked into going, were leased to the brick factories.
Mr. Tang Jingling, a rights activist from southern China’s Guangzhou City, told Radio Free Asia that slave workers are widely used by brick factories in China. Although there are not many brick factories in Guangdong Province, some factories in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, close to where Tang lives, also have slave workers. The victims are not only limited to mentally disabled people.
“The scale of some of the factories is quite big also. Some may have dozens or even hundreds of people working inside, but people seldom find out the inside story,” said Tang.
Tang stated that the collusion between business and government is the root cause. “The government does not carry out labor law according [to standards]. In other words, it looks like there is a labor law with a decent standard, but it was carried out according to another standard,” he said.