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Forced labour

"Our work lasted 18 hours a day, seven days a week. Constant rounds of interrogation, threats, and physical beatings accompanied the labour. The guards’ goal was to break our will, or faith, while squeezing as much productivity out of us as possible, short of killing us." - Huang Kui


In today’s China, any Chinese person can be picked off the street and be immediately turned into a slave for years without legal procedure. Since 1999, this has happened to hundreds of thousands of people who practise Falun Gong and vanished into China’s vast system of labour camps.

Ethan Gutmann writes in his book "The Slaughter", on page 320, that on average 450,000 to 1 million Falun Gong practitioners are being held in the so called laogai (or “re-education” through labour camps).

Outdoors in Siberia-like weather of northeastern China winters, or in the suffocating heat of unventilated rooms filled with fumes from glue and faeces, detainees work up to 20 hours a day. Those who refuse are beaten, tortured, or starved.

What are they manufacturing? Our clothes, Christmas tree decorations, toys, chopsticks ...

Eyewitness accounts

Jennifer Zheng reported that she had to work from 5 o'clock in the morning until 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning the next day (21 hours) in the Beijing Xin'an Labour Camp, where she had to make toy rabbits for Beijing's Mickey Toys Co. Ltd, reportedly subcontracted from Nestle. She was so exhausted that she could not clearly count from 1 to 9.

Another person told how "sanitary chopsticks" were produced in the Daxing County Labour Camp in Beijing. The chopsticks to be packed were piled on the floor arbitrarily and often stepped on by workers. Not a single measure had been taken to guarantee hygiene. The payment for the contracted forced labour was income for the policemen at the labour camps.

Articles in this category

Why I’m suing China’s former president 23/01/2016

Lawsuits This week, Chinese president and Communist Party head Xi Jinping will visit the United States. Much attention will focus on China’s poor human rights record under his leadership. But another trend in China deserves notice—a growing grassroots effort to hold former leader Jiang Zemin accountable for serious crimes.

Four more practitioners illegally detained in Rucheng, Shandong Province 06/07/2015

Forced labour ( Four more female Falun Gong practitioners were illegally arrested on April 7th, 2015, in Rushan City, Shandong Province, following the arrest of their friend Ms Yu Jingtao six months earlier on October 6th, 2014. The four were detained for 17 days in the same detention centre.

On the day of their arrest, the police searched and ransacked their homes, taking personal belongings, such as computers, printers, and other items.

Three Falun Gong practitioners arrested and detained in Shenzhen 05/07/2015

Forced labour ( Two police officers followed three Falun Gong practitioners to a KFC restaurant, and then called for reinforcements to come arrest them and take them away. Even though one of the practitioners had symptoms of tuberculosis, all three were admitted to a detention centre and ill-treated.

Persecution of Falun Gong continues Into 2015 13/06/2015

Deaths Chinese regime authorities continue to arrest and torture, sometimes to death, practitioners of the traditional meditation practice Falun Gong over the first three months of the new year. Incomplete statistics reveal hundreds of illegal detentions and dozens of deaths as a result of abuse in custody.


Torture camp rebranded in China 16/07/2014

The Masanjia women’s labour camp was supposed to be closed down, but now it simply has two names

Forced labour By Carol Wickenkamp, Epoch Times

For years the tales of torture that came out of Masanjia Women’s Labour Camp in China’s northeast were a potent demonstration of the abuses of the country’s forced labour system. In turn, Masanjia’s apparent closure last year was seen as a hopeful sign that the system was, in fact, being closed down, as authorities had promised.

'Shutdown' of labour camps does not mean the end of persecution 09/02/2014

Forced labour ( Chinese officials publicly announced their decision to abolish the notorious forced labour camp system on January 7th, 2013, according to a December 2013 Amnesty International report. The "education through labour" system, as authorities call it, has existed for nearly six decades. The name is deceptive, however, as these are forced labour camps, pure and simple, with brainwashing and torture commonplace in addition to overwork and dangerous working conditions.

The forced labour camp system in China is declared to have been “shutdown,” but the harm and pain it has caused to millions of people, especially Falun Gong practitioners, has long-lasting effects.

Forced labour camp system still active – sentences served 'outside' and monitored by telephone 25/10/2013

Forced labour ( The Chinese forced labour camp system has not really shut down. Although many of the former forced labour camps have released their prisoners and many others have changed their signs to read “Drug Rehabilitation Centre”, the labour system is operating in another form. Sentences are being served outside of the camps, and people are being monitored by telephone.

Appeals court overturns lower court decision but gives Falun Gong practitioner same 3-year sentence anyway 22/09/2013

Forced labour ( The Hengyang City Intermediate Court recently ruled on the appeal of Ms Xiong Qiuling, a Falun Gong practitioner illegally sentenced to three years in prison. Hengyang City is located in China's Hunan Province. The intermediate court dismissed a lower court’s charges against her, but instead, charged her with a different crime: “harbouring criminals”. This was done to retain the original sentence of three years in prison.