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June 18, 2007 9:35 AM   Subscribe

China faces slavery and human trafficking.
posted by pwedza (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, people are getting arrested and the media is reporting it widely. That seems like an improvement, no?
posted by delmoi at 9:47 AM on June 18, 2007


Are there words missing from the FPP? China faces up to charges of...? China faces slavery... on a daily basis? China's faces of slavery...?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:50 AM on June 18, 2007


USA faces slavery and human trafficking.
posted by stbalbach at 9:52 AM on June 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yea delmoi, I think the key point is that China sees it as illegal and is making efforts to clean it up. Yet on the local goverment level though it appears that either officials were taking bribes or have been completely oblivious to the issue of human trafficing.

And thanks stbalbach, I was just about to say I'm sure the US has similar trafficking rings (even if on a smaller scale). I'm kinda wary of all the recent demonizing of China as of late, as if its building up to something, hope I'm not the only one. I have a few close friends from China and from their descriptions its not that bad of a place...different, but a great majority of the people are awesome folks.
posted by samsara at 10:00 AM on June 18, 2007


stbalbach, those cases are but the very tip of the ice berg. If I were free to give examples, I would, however suffice to say that there are some very, very sick individuals in this country. The difference is that here, when we discover these situations, we (usually) have laws and a legal system that prosecute the people that are responsible. We also (usually) have a system of civil recourse for the victims of exploitation.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:01 AM on June 18, 2007


17 minutes to US-bashing. Impressive, but is it a new record?

Good work, by the way, on transforming the barbaric practices of two foreign millionaires into a national accusation of slavery with that first link.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:06 AM on June 18, 2007


It's a horrible story and good that it has come to light through the efforts of the parents of the children.
Police in Zhengzhou (Henan) appear to have ignored repeated reports of missing children from parents and of criminal gangs operating by transport hubs, yet they can catch five gangs in a week once this story breaks. Police in Shanxi were of course directly complicit.
I've seen reports of bonded and slave labour for as long as I've paid attention, more than a decade now.
It is civil society groups who are the best check against this and again the crying need for free unions is apparent. The former are emerging, how long before the latter?
I think of hadjiboy's post on the Naxalites a few days back and am constantly astounded by the lack of violent reprisals here. So many who deserve a shallow mountain grave by the scene of their crime or the crime they abetted. Christ knows it's not the right way, but without the spur this shit will drag on forever as reform makes its glacial progress.
posted by Abiezer at 10:11 AM on June 18, 2007


Historically, the cost of a human slave has remained steady. In modern terms the amount would be more than $20,000.

A modern slave has a value of $100.

Supply and demand; there are simply alot of people on the planet at the moment.
posted by asok at 10:14 AM on June 18, 2007


Well, people are getting arrested and the media is reporting it widely. That seems like an improvement, no? - Delmoi

Did I say it wasn't?

I'm kinda wary of all the recent demonizing of China as of late. - samsara

You are infering that I am demonizing.

Pollomacho: The verb 'to face' means 'to confront directly.' Why would qualifying it as "on a daily basis" be more palletable? And China is not being 'charged' with slavery and human trafficking.

Stbalbach: Pointing out what is happening in China does not imply that I ignore what occurs in the United States.

Let me make it clear, I did not say: "China practices slavery and human trafficking."
posted by pwedza at 10:16 AM on June 18, 2007


In other news, Wal-Mart imports $18 billion of goods from China every year. You have to wonder how closely these things are linked.
posted by rolypolyman at 10:19 AM on June 18, 2007


From here:
Comments on the Shanxi Brick Kiln Case (06/18/2007) When a case raises mass public anger, the usual thing happens. On one hand, there is a notice from from the CPS Central Office of External Communication to the news websites (via China Digital Times): "Regarding the Shanxi “illegal brick kilns” event, all websites should reinforce positive propaganda, put more emphasis on the forceful measures that the central and local governments have already taken, and close the comment function in the related news reports. The management of the interactive communication tools, such as online forums, blogs, and instant messages, should also be strengthened."

On the other hand, the local Shanxi media have been ordered to drop all their own coverage and only use the Xinhua reports. Those orders do not affect media based outside of Shanxi.

Why do they do this? They are afraid that the public anger may be directed at "inappropriate" levels of the party/government (e.g. the party as a whole, the national leaders, the provincial leaders, etc). But it is interesting just what is coming through anyway under these restrictions.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:20 AM on June 18, 2007


The verb 'to face' means 'to confront directly.

I thought that was the definition of "face up" whereas "face" simply means to look at or to encounter. China encounters human slavery is a little different than China encounters slavery and does something about it, no? There's my confusion.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:29 AM on June 18, 2007


asok,
Can you give numbers and links to support what you are saying? I'm not sure how you're getting that the cost of a slave has remained steady across history. Not only that, but the wildly varying situations in terms of laws and government around the world seem like it would make it impossible to come up with a single number cost for "modern" slaves. Obtaining a slave in a poor, undeveloped country is probably a lot cheaper and easier than trying to purchase one and have it brought to the US or Germany or another state with strong anti-slavery laws. (Notice that stbalbach's link about that US slavery case involved very rich people in a very specific situation...)
posted by Sangermaine at 10:54 AM on June 18, 2007


Pollomacho,
Think of it in the sense of, "You have to face (ie confront) your fears to overcome them."
posted by Sangermaine at 10:55 AM on June 18, 2007


You are infering that I am demonizing.

Oh absolutely no. There's a lot of interest as of late about China and human rights, which I think is concerning as the country is emerging as a superpower within the next few decades (if it hasn't already).

I find these links interesting and informative...but also I'm a little wary of where the U.S. stands in its views of China. (the demonizing vibe I got from some of the articles, not from you personally..sorry about that)
posted by samsara at 11:00 AM on June 18, 2007


The US slavery case of the millionaires is just the tip of the iceberg. It's not exactly the same as China, but slavery is slavery and it transcends law and is a human ethical and moral problem that can be found just about everywhere. China has slavery but then so does just about every country so I just wonder why we point out China as "facing slavery" when in fact the whole wold is facing slavery.
posted by stbalbach at 11:31 AM on June 18, 2007


moooooooooooooom!!! they're making fun of america again!!!
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 11:34 AM on June 18, 2007


The US slavery case of the millionaires is just the tip of the iceberg.
stbalbach

That's not really fair. Tip of what iceberg? What are the figures for slave trafficking in the US, alone and as opposed to other countries?

It's true that every country probably has slave trafficking occuring in its borders to some degree, but there are massive differences. In China, the article implies, the local governments are very often taking bribes to look the other way, or even actively aiding in the trade. In the US, EU, and other areas, as Pollomacho noted, there are legal and government systems in place that come down very harshly on slavery when found. I think you'd be hard-pressed to honestly say the same kind of tacit local government support you see in some places in China for this practice exists anywhere in the US or other industrialized places. That really is an important difference, and not just so we can point and say we're better or something like that; if the people in charge who are supposed to be fighting and stopping slavery are aiding in it, then there is a very serious problem. It's good, though, that perhaps the international spotlight will get Beijing to put pressure on the provinces to start shaping up.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:05 PM on June 18, 2007


Sangermaine: According to this
the U.S. government estimates that about 17,000 to 20,000 women, men and children are trafficked into the United States each year, meaning there may be as many as 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. working as modern slaves
That's quite a bit.
posted by delmoi at 12:44 PM on June 18, 2007


delmoi,
Right, but my point still stands. Those numbers represent crimes, not tacitly-state-approved business dealings.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:47 PM on June 18, 2007


Ironic. Slavery is still common in many areas of the world and we (US and Europe) spend the majority of our time debating Global Warming and Gay Marriage.
posted by jeffreyharmon at 12:54 PM on June 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


the U.S. government estimates that about 17,000 to 20,000 women, men and children are trafficked into the United States each year, meaning there may be as many as 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. working as modern slaves

That's quite a bit.


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posted by longbaugh at 4:07 PM on June 18, 2007


Thanks for the post, pwezda.

Slavery is still common in many areas of the world and we (US and Europe) spend the majority of our time debating Global Warming and Gay Marriage.

jeffreyharmon, the idea that global warming and gay rights as issues are less significant because slavery exists makes no sense to me. I would posit that all these things are related to respect for our fellow human beings and the planet on which we live. It's not a zero-sum game, we can care about more than one thing at once.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:32 AM on June 19, 2007


In other demonizing. . .
posted by pwedza at 11:53 AM on June 19, 2007


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