While many are shocked by the news of a slave trafficking ring in Shanxi
Province, some of the victims will not be able to prosecute their traffickers
because they are not covered by the criminal law code.
Thirty one workers who were forced
to work as 'slaves' in brick kilns in northern Shanxi province were freed by
police, and another 217 'slaves' were rescued in neighboring Henan Province,
Xinhua reported Thursday.
A rural migrant laborer, right, looks back at a passerby
while pulling a cart of bricks at a kiln in Caosheng Village, Hongdong
County in Shanxi Province in this undated photo. [Shanxi Evening
According to the report, most of the 'slave' laborers are migrant workers who
had been lured by human traffickers to the brick kilns and were later detained
by the kiln owners who hired thugs to keep the detainees under tight security.
Anyone attempting to run away would be punished by a deadly thrashing. A thug
who worked for a kiln owner in Caosheng Village, Shanxi Province, was arrested
by local police for allegedly beating a runway 'slave 'to death after catching
Death, assault, kidnapping and illegal detention could initiate a criminal procedure in
China, but bringing the traffickers to justice is difficult.
"Those traffickers who lure migrant workers, mainly adult males, to do forced
labor will not be convicted as the criminal code only covers those who traffic
women and children," Guan Zhongzhi, a lawyer with Zhonghuan Law Firm told
The legal loophole has put male victims in an awkward position when fighting
against their traffickers in the court of law.
It is reported that a crackdown campaign was launched to strike 11 cities of
Shanxi Province. Coal mines, brick kilns, private contractors and small-sized
enterprises will be under scrutiny after media reports revealed that hundreds of
children had been kidnapped and forced to work in kilns in