The Chinese are still rocking to-day as the horrific story unfolds of children stolen from the streets and forced into slave labour at brick kilns. The story is covered in depth in the Times of June 16th 2007: Children snatched off the streets to work as slaves.
More than 1000 children – some as young as 8 years of age – have been stolen and sold for as little as £27 ( 400 Yuan ) each to brick kiln owners who have been facing a massive rise in demand for their product due to the soaring Chinese economy and building boom.
The story would break your heart to read:-
“Horrified Chinese have followed the stark, unusually frank images of the slaves on television as they were rescued by police. Some children still wore their school uniforms. They lived in squalid conditions with many adult workers, sleeping on filthy quilts on layers of bricks inside the brickworks, with the doors sealed from the outside with padlocks and the windows barred with pieces of wood.
Many children had festering wounds on their black feet and around their waists, apparently from burns. Some were even beaten to death by their guards.
Some 35,000 police have raided 7,500 kilns in Henan and Shanxi provinces in central China and rescued 468 people. Local officials said that 250 people had been arrested.”
So .. a new horror is revealed to the world but the saddest thing is that this is only one of so many scandals and horrors that blight our planet.
After I read this story I made sure I gave my kids an extra tight hug and thanked my lucky stars for their continued safety.
We’re free of thi sin Northern Ireland… aren’t we?