Child Slavery – Alive and Well
Bluebloggin has this post up on the current slave trade and the ratings given to those countries who participate. Among the worst offenders are Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Also on the list is Venezuela (Bush vengeance?) Myanmar, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.
Noticeably missing from the list is China whose human rights abuses are hard to equal. This article and this article today exposed the horrendous and heartbreaking existence of the organized use of slaves, including children in two Chinese provinces. Local police and other officials have known about and even been involved in the kidnappings and sale of slaves. They were finally forced to take action when parents used the internet to alert local media.
As many as 1,000 slaves, including many children, may have been sold into labor in central China, enduring maiming and brutality in brick kilns, state media said on Friday, amid an expanding scandal about official neglect.
The owners ran the prison-like kilns in Shanxi and Henan provinces with fierce dogs, and thugs who beat the slaves at will, state TV said.
The slaves were forced to work for their food and were paid nothing. Children as young as eight were found during the raids.
Reports indicate that workers in kilns were treated worse than slaves, forced to handle hot bricks, beaten if they did not work as expected, and reportedly even buried alive to remove the bodies.
An army of 35,000 police in central China has so far rescued 468 people after checking 7,500 kilns. As many as 120 suspects had been arrested. Official sources said raids were continuing and might result in the discovery of another 500-600 slaves.
I realize that other nations depend upon China because of their enormous international markets and economic influence. But with their dismal human rights record including this slave trade scandal, the thousands of “criminals” executed every year and their bulging gulag population, it’s a mystery as to why they get the privilege of hosting the ’08 Olympics.