Henan Case Underscores Depth Of China's Slavery Problem

09/07/2011 12:35 pm ET | Updated Nov 07, 2011
  • Brian Spegele, with contributions from Sue Feng blogs.wsj.com

Police in central China’s Henan province said they have rescued 30 mentally handicapped people who had been enslaved at illegal brick kilns, in the latest case of slavery in China, a problem that continues in the country despite government pledges to eradicate it.

Zhang Xiaolei, director of the province’s propaganda office, said three people were in police custody in connection with the operation of the brick kilns, while several others remained at large. He said authorities learned of the brick kilns through recent local media reports.

Mr. Zhang and state-run media said the workers had severe mental illnesses and had been unable to provide police with their identities or where they were from.

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