1. The story behind making China's "Sanitary" Chopsticks -- Exposing Slave Labor Practices Inside Chinese Labor Camps (Part 1)
  2. Exposing Slave Labor Practices Inside Chinese Labor Camps (Part II)
  3. The Story Behind Making China's "Sanitary" Chopsticks -- Exposing Slave Labor Practices Inside Chinese Labor Camps (Part 3)
  4. The Story Behind Making China's "Sanitary" Chopsticks -- Exposing Slave Labor Practices Inside Chinese Labor Camps (Part 4)

1. The story behind making China's "Sanitary" Chopsticks -- Exposing Slave Labor Practices Inside Chinese Labor Camps (Part 1)


In China's small roadside restaurants, the widely used disposable chopsticks are referred to as "sanitary" chopsticks. They are commonly seen in Chinese restaurants overseas. You can see them placed together in a container or packaged separately and labeled "Sanitized For Your Safety!" According to a survey in China, over 80% of those chopsticks have never been sanitized. Fierce market competition has made it impossible to cover all the costs, so some businesses have omitted the sanitizing process. Others burn sulfur to make the chopsticks look bright and white even though they know it could make the chopsticks toxic. In order to minimize costs and increase profit, some manufacturing jobs are subcontracted out to prisons and forced labor camps where there are no controls put on sanitary conditions.

1. China's "Sanitary" chopsticks and forced labor camps.

(1) The "Sanitary" chopsticks production in Beijing's City Labor Education Bureau

There is evidence that the Department of Dispatch of Beijing's City Labor Education Bureau, a forced labor camp located in Daxing County, Beijing, forced people in the labor camp to work excessive long hours to make "sanitary" chopsticks, from 6:00am to 9:00pm or sometimes even past midnight. The chopsticks made there were far from being "sanitary". With dozens of inmates squeezed into one small room, the chopsticks to be packed were piled on the floor arbitrarily and often stepped on by workers. The inmates' job was to put the chopsticks into paper coverings labeled by the Department of Sanitary and Epidemic Prevention, though the inmates had not gone through any measures of epidemic prevention or sanitary conditions themselves. Many of them had skin diseases, scabies outbreaks, and some were drug addicts or diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases. The payment for the contracted forced labor became income for the policemen at the labor camps.

Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Yu Ming, former head of a clothing manufacturer in Liaoyang City of Liaoning Province, wrote, "In the Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp in the Daxing District of Beijing City, the Department of Dispatch forced everyone to work from early morning to midnight to make money for the policemen. Most of the work was packaging disposable 'Sanitary' or 'Convenient Chopsticks' in paper wrappers. They were then regarded as meeting "Sanitary Quality Standard" and sold to small roadside restaurants. The profit for one box of chopsticks is about 6 yuan. Each inmate finishes about 3 boxes per day and there are about 160 people per unit. You can imagine how much money one unit can make for those policemen each day." [reference: http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2004/2/8/66823.html] Mr. Yu also wrote, "The inmates' dormitories were used as the workshops. They were very crowded to begin with, now the chopsticks were thrown all over the floor. Sometimes they were dropped into the open toilet, but nobody cared. They would just pick the chopsticks up and put them in the paper wappers, since the total number of chopsticks could not be short, by even one. The police watched the inmates carefully on the numbers, but inmates were never required to wash their hands. The majority of the inmates were drug addicts and prostitutes, yet there were no formal medical examinations here regardless of whether a person was carrying hepatitis or sexually transmitted diseases. Any inmate still breathing was forced to work for the police. Even those people who had scabies all over their bodies were forced to work and grabbed the chopsticks with hands covered by scabies infections." "Anyone behind schedule or failing to complete the policemen's quota was beaten by the police and other inmates, forced to stand still outside for long periods, or deprived of sleep as punishment for not meeting their production quota. Every unit and every cell was crawling with lice and the inmates were not allowed to take showers for long periods. Guards patrolled, carrying electric stun batons and handcuffs. Many inmates never dared to raise their heads to look at the sky after being here for months."

Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Gong Chengxi was a senior in college, majoring in administration and management at the Changping Campus of Beijing Political and Law University. Once the chairman of the student association and head of his class, he was regarded as a righteous and kind student with excellent academic integrity. Due to the persecution against Falun Gong, he was summarily discharged from school when he would not renounce his belief. (Reference: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/2/20/45228.html)

In the account he wrote to Clearwisdom.net, Mr. Gong revealed the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners by the Department of Dispatch in Beijing. He also mentioned the "Sanitary" chopsticks: (In early morning of the Chinese New Year Day, January 23, 2001, four other Falun Gong practitioners and I were handcuffed and put into a police vehicle at the Changping Detention Center. We were escorted to the Department of Dispatch for Forced Labor Personnel in Beijing near the Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp in Daxing District. Several days later, we were asked to do the work of hand-wrapping disposable chopsticks. Although the packaging was labeled "sanitary" it was not sanitary at all. All the inmates including those who had hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases had to do this job. We were not asked or allowed to wash our hands before working. In a room crowded with about 40 people, the chopsticks were piled all over the floor and on the beds. The room was filled with sawdust. The sanitary conditions in the Department of Dispatch were extremely poor. Everyone was given only a few minutes of toilet and wash time in the morning and evening. As soon as you sat down in the restroom, the police might already be shouting and calling everyone to go out and form lines. We were not allowed to take showers for extended periods. Only after the camp authorities discovered that many inmates had lice all over their bodies, were we allowed to take our first shower. Still, dozens of people were sent into a room with only two showers, for no more than a few minutes. In the summer of 2002, a hepatitis epidemic broke out in the Department of Dispatch...)

According to Mr. Gong' testimony, "In order to maximize the profit from the inmates' work, the department of dispatch bordered on madness. The quota for each person per day was 7,500 to over 10,000 pairs of chopsticks. Even working from 6:00am to 12:00am, it was impossible to finish the quota. Besides the unbearable pain in one's back and lower back, we also had to endure verbal abuse and beatings from the police and their aids. During my one month in the department of dispatch, each day was like that. Several elderly Falun Gong practitioners, Dao Wanhui, Yang Juhai, Li Xieliang, Chen Jingjian and Jia Lin, worked as fast as they could but still could not finish the quota, so the unit head ordered them to sit on the cement floor outside to work for several hours in icy weather. If they still failed to complete the quota, they were be deprived of sleep, and only allowed 3-4 hours a night."

Jing Yuan also provided inside information about the dispatch department of Beijing City Labor Education Bureau, "In the department of dispatch, inmates are required to get up at 6:00 am. Late risers are beaten. There are roll calls twice daily after getting up in the morning and before going to bed at night. During roll call, inmates are ordered to cover their head with their hands and squat down on the floor. Anyone who did not exhibit the correct posture was beaten. After the morning roll call, practitioner's were permitted to use the toilet and wash. There were only 5-6 toilets in a restroom shared by over 30 people. Using the toilet there is known as 'Squat-cleanup-standup" and you're limited to several seconds. Those wishing to use the toilet had to get permission from the head of the cell. If he wasn't happy, then you could forget about being permitted to go to the restroom. It was even worse if the cell heads wanted to use the restroom, since those people would occupy it for a long time. Not all the faucets in a restroom were functional and the police limited the water flow so that it only dribbled out when the faucet was turned on. Of the more than 30 people in a cell, the head of the cell certainly had the privilege to go first. The total time for toilet use and washing was only 10 minutes for all inmates, with everyone scrambling and competing to get a stall. Those who were not very aggressive had no chance to wash or use the toilet. The same was true with taking showers. It was common for new arrivals to miss their chance to use the toilet or take a shower. In the hot summer, bodies would begin to smell very bad after 7-8 days with no shower."

Jing Yuan also wrote, "In the Department of Dispatch, as long as it was not raining, everyone would squat down and eat outside. (It is reported that since October, 2001 they started eating inside instead.) Before the meal, everyone was required to recite a paragraph from the No. 23 Order and Report. At mid-day in the summer heat, a bunch of people squatting down with the burning sun on their heads bit into hard buns and drank vegetables soup infested with maggots, sweating like dogs. They had 5 minutes to finish the meal. If anyone did not finish the meal, he had to drop the bowl."

Jing Yuan said, "In the day time, most of the work is packaging the chopsticks with paper bags labeled "Sterilized in high temperature" or "Sanitary chopsticks". The hands that touched the chopsticks were extremely dirty and never washed, even after using the toilet or wiping the nose. It was difficult to get water to drink, let alone water for washing hands. The chopsticks fell all over the dirty beds and floor. Anyone who had ever visited such a place would never dare to use so-called 'sanitary chopsticks'. One would feel nauseous just recalling how the chopsticks were packed.. The quota for each day was very high. One had to start working right after getting up. There was no lunch break and the finishing time was normally around 7:00 or 8:00 pm, sometimes even midnight. Regular inmates also had to help the head of the cell for his quota. Several cell heads did not work at all, making it tougher for others.

(2) The Sanitary Chopsticks and BBQ picks made in Tianjin City Shuangkou Forced Labor Camp

In a letter to Clearwisdom.net, a Falun Gong practitioner who was once detained in Tianjin City Shuangkou Forced Labor Camp wrote, "Because of the terrible living condition in the forced labor camp, 90 percent of the inmates developed scabies. At that time, my legs, chest and hands were all infected. Still, we were forced to work."

The letter continued, "Policemen arranged for me to put sanitary chopsticks into the paper wrapper or sometimes make vegetarian kabobs with bamboo skewers. Many practitioners in the workshop had scabies. Some had yellowish liquid from the infection under their nails, which spread directly onto the food and skewers since nobody was allowed to wear gloves. The labor camp did not care about Dafa practitioners' lives nor the health of the consumers. Such products were not sanitary at all. Ironically, food and fire-proof curtains made of fiber glass were being made at the same time in the same shop, and the room was filled with fiber glasses particles. For one period of time, I was making a dishwashing product. The normal quota for one person was 170 pieces per day, but they made us produce 390 pieces per day. Those who were not nimble had to work almost until early morning in order to finish the quota. When the 'superiors' came to inspect, the policemen just wrote down 170 pieces in the record and let everyone get off work on time, but then made them get up to work at 2:00am the next day. For those practitioners who refused to cooperate, the police just arbitrarily increased their quota. Inmates in the labor camp were forced to work, like this, receiving no compensation at all."

(3) The only sanitary standard for the chopsticks in Dalian Forced Labor Camp is no hair mixed in the bag.

Dalian Forced Labor Camp in Dalian City, Liaoning Province also performed the same work and they exported those chopsticks to Japan. It was said that the only sanitary standard was no hair should be in the package.

Besides chopsticks, the Dalian Forced Labor Camp produced a series of low cost items, including embroidered products, dry flowers, hand knitted hats or cellular phone cases, selected beans, sea weed knots, plastic flowers, popsicle sticks, coffee straws, hand made wool coats and buttons. The Shibali Forced Labor Camp in Xuchang City, Henan Province made wigs, tapestries, garnitures and embroidery. Inmates were forced to work long hours each day. For those who failed to finish the quota, the labor camp had all kinds of torture, beyond the imagination of the civilized world.

Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.ca/mh/articles/2004/2/25/68449.html

2. Exposing Slave Labor Practices Inside Chinese Labor Camps (Part II)

B. The forced labor camps in China commonly use slave labor to make a large variety of products

As major corporations around the world seek cheap labor, the forced labor camps in China have increased their exploitation of detainees, using them for slave labor. Falun Gong practitioners are no exception. Over the past four years, Falun Gong practitioners, as well as other labor camp detainees, have been forced to do slave labor.

As of mid-February 2004, at least 896 Falun Gong practitioners are known to have been tortured to death for their belief in Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. Thousands of others are being unlawfully detained and being forced to do exhausting work, including packaging chopsticks, making toys for export, and making hair products for Henan Rebecca Hair Products, Inc. in Xuchang City.

1. According to an eye-witness account by a Falun Gong practitioner from Wuhan City published in February 2004 on Clearwisdom.net, officials at the Hewan Forced Labor Camp in Wuhan City have for a long time forced detainees to make products for export, including an eagle toy and a bear toy. The workshop starts the day at 6:00 a.m. and stays open until 2:00 a.m. the next morning.

2. The people detained at Dashaping Detention Center in Lanzhou City have only enough space to lie down on their side when sleeping, and for their daily meals they are given only steamed buns and plainly cooked noodles. Despite the terrible living conditions, the detainees are forced to do highly intensive manual labor daily. According to Chinese laws, a detention center is a place where suspects who have not been convicted are held temporarily, and they should not be subjected to physical labor. However, everyone who is sent to this detention center is forced to do slave labor and to work for the Zhenglin Melon Seeds Corporation, a well-known company in Gansu Province.

The detainees at Dashaping Detention Center pick watermelon seeds in the winter and remove the seed husks in the summer. They have to use their teeth to continuously crack and remove the husks from the watermelon seeds, while squatting in the same position for more than 10 hours a day. They are only allowed to take a break when having meals. In the winter, people had to stay in an open field to pick seeds. Many people have suffered frostbite, cracked skin and scabies, and the watermelon seeds often get covered with blood and pus. In the summer, cracking the husks breaks teeth and creates loosened teeth, swollen lips and cracked fingernails, and sometimes causes the fingernails to break off. The detention center authorities know this work is illegal, so they always order the detainees to stop working and put the seeds in bags before reporters or government inspectors come. The authorities would then hand out newspapers to every detainee, who would pretend to be reading the paper. When visiting reporters or inspectors left, the work would resume.

The detainees are not paid a penny for their work. The Zhenglin Watermelon Seed Co. and the detention center joined forces in exploiting the detainees' labor and split the profits between them. Within several years, the Lanzhou Zhenglin Food Corporation became the largest production center in China for making stir-fried food (seeds). In 1999, the company had a total sales of 460 million yuan [approximately $55,577,287 USD]. The corporation sold its premier product, the hand-picked watermelon seeds, as export and sold them to more than 30 countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

The Xiguoyuan Detention Center in Lanzhou City and the Kefa Factory Prison also participated in this unconstitutional exploitation of labor.

3. Henan Province's No. 3 Labor Camp, also called the Xuchang City Labor Camp in Xuchang City, is located in Henan Province, where most of the Chinese hair products are made. When the labor camp was short of funds and was about to be shut down, many Falun Gong practitioners were abducted and were forced to make hair products, which revived the labor camp's business.

Qu Shuangcai, Director of the No. 3 Labor Camp, brutally persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and was favored by his superiors. In May 2003, he was transferred to the Shibalihe Female Labor Camp in Zhenzhou City and promoted to director of that labor camp. Right away he signed a contract with Henan Rebecca Hair Products, Inc. located 120 miles away from the labor camp in Xuchang City. He also instituted the use of straight jacket restraints to use in torturing practitioners. Within several months of his arrival there, three female Falun Gong practitioners were tortured to death.

Guard Shen Jianwei from the No. 3 Labor Camp often said, "A while back, when the labor camp was short on funds and was about to be shut down, many Falun Gong practitioners became available. The government allocated 20,000 yuan [$2,416 USD] to force each practitioner to renounce his belief in Falun Dafa." The labor camp spent eight million yuan [$966,561 USD] worth of government funding to construct residential buildings and encourages the guards to persecute these practitioners. Right now, the labor camp is "buying" Falun Gong practitioners from other places for 800 yuan each to use as slave laborers, to increase the volume of products for the labor camp. At this labor camp, whoever shouts "Falun Dafa is good!" is ordered to be tortured. [Note: 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly salary of an urban worker in China.]

Recently, because Dafa practitioners inside and outside of China have exposed the labor camp authorities' crimes, the number of orders received by the labor camp has markedly decreased. Because of the loss in profit, the labor camp authorities conceived a plan to deceive their clients with a show of false kindness. They invited many business owners in the hair trade and other related people to visit the No. 3 Forced Labor Camp on February 16, 2004, in an attempt to cover up their crimes and to continue to make huge profits.

4. Whoever is sent to the Langfang City Detention Center learns that the forced labor there is extremely intensive and difficult to endure. There are always countless beans waiting to be picked and chopsticks waiting to be wrapped. The project manager in charge assigns daily jobs to every detainee. Detainees who are unable to finish their assignments are punished by either not being allowed to sleep or by being given evening work. They are forced to work over 12 hours each day. Many suffer from heatstroke during the hot summer from working in poorly ventilated cells and not given adequate water. The only time they get a break is when the upper level authorities come to visit or to inspect the detention center. At that time, the officer tells everyone stop working and takes the products away and hides them. All detainees then start cleaning the cells and yards. Then they are ordered to sit down on the ground and recite the detention center's rules and regulations. After the visitors leave, the detainees are forced to begin their work again.

5. A Falun Gong practitioner who was detained at the Shuangkou Forced Labor Camp in Tianjin City wrote in a letter to Clearwisdom.net,

"Because of the hostile living environment in this forced labor camp, 90% of the detainees have scabies, a contagious skin disease caused by mites. At that time my legs, chest, and hands were infected, but the camp still forced us to perform slave labor.

The camp police arranged for me to package chopsticks into paper wrappers or make vegetarian shish kabobs. In the food processing plant, many detained practitioners got scabies, and some even had yellowish pus oozing out of the blisters on their fingers. Without the use of gloves, the pus contaminated the food and the chopsticks.

The forced labor camp pays no attention to the well being of the detained practitioners. They also ignore the health issues of the consumers! Obviously, the camp products are not sanitary. In the same workshop, fire-retardant fiberglass was also manufactured, so there were bits and pieces of fiberglass everywhere. For a period of time, I was binding brushes for cooking utensils. The regular workload per person was usually 170, but we were each assigned a quota of 390. A slower person would have to continue working all day and night. Every time there was an inspection by outsiders or a tour arriving, the labor camp police would keep the workload record as 170 pieces per person and we could be off duty in the late afternoon. However, they would then wake us up at 2:00 a.m. to make up the lost slave labor hours. They arbitrarily added to the workload of practitioners who refused to cooperate with the camp instructors. The detainees at the forced labor camp are worked to extreme exhaustion without any compensation."

6. The Jianxin Forced Labor Camp of Tianjin City was expanded especially for persecuting Falun Dafa practitioners. Since the inception of the Sixth Division, for female detainees, several hundred Dafa practitioners have been detained there. Most were older than fifty years of age, the oldest practitioner being seventy-three years old.

The labor camp forces Dafa practitioners to work for as long as 17-18 hours each day. If they cannot finish their assigned workload, the Dafa practitioners are not allowed to sleep; some of them even have to work through the night without sleep for several days, or at most they are only allowed to sleep for one or two hours a day. Many of the Dafa practitioners, especially the older ones, began practicing Falun Gong in order to heal their illnesses and improve their health. Because of the vicious environment in the camp, the practitioners were forbidden from studying the Dafa books and from practicing the Falun Gong exercises. Not only that, in addition to prolonged work hours and exhausting work, they endured intolerable mental and physical pressure. That is the reason why some practitioners suffered relapses of their original illnesses, which had been cured before they were detained in the labor camps.

One older woman with the surname Li had a high blood pressure reading of over 200 and had serious heart problems, but was still forced to finish her daily assigned workload. One night at midnight, she collapsed in the bathroom. They tried for over one hour to resuscitate her in the bathroom but could not bring her around. The camp authorities had to send her to the hospital for emergency treatment. She was diagnosed with a massive cerebral hemorrhage. After her skull was opened, the doctors found three out of the four cerebral ventricles suffered massive hemorrhages. After the incident occurred, in order to deceive Ms. Li's family and keep the facts from them, the police tried to avoid responsibility by inciting criminal prisoners and those "collaborators", former practitioners who had turned against Dafa under pressure to create false evidence.

The perpetrators also forced Falun Gong practitioners who had scabies and whose hands seeped pus to process other types of food. Some inmates and prostitutes whose bodies seeped pus and who had STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] were ordered to pick sunflower seeds, package chocolates and candies, fold dessert trays and moon cake trays. They did all this work on inmates' beds, which is a serious violation of laws regulating food hygiene production methods. They even ordered inmates with contagious diseases to package food-containing children's toys.

7. Since July 2001, the Longshan Labor Camp officials have forced Falun Gong practitioners to process wax candles in various colors (other common inmates are also forced to do this work). The wax is then exported and the labor camp makes big profits from the cheap labor.

The Longshan Labor Camp received its first order for the wax-processing job in mid-July 2001. The elderly and weak Falun Gong practitioners were forced to work in their cells, making plastic packing boxes for the wax.

The majority of Falun Gong practitioners were taken to a big hall near the entrance of the labor camp to process and to pack the wax. Over a dozen colors were used for the wax, and each of them gave off a strong smell of artificial perfumes that irritated their nasal passages. After a whole day's work, practitioners would be covered with wax crumbs and their clothes would smell of these irritating chemical odors. Many practitioners looked pale, became dizzy and sick and lost their appetite from inhaling these toxic odors.

About 100 people were forced to do this work on a daily basis. The common inmates can finish 80 to 90 boxes per person per day if done at a fast speed.

The transparent glue used for sealing the boxes is toxic. Since practitioners have to use their fingers to press and seal, their fingers are often stuck together. Sometimes when this happens repeatedly it makes the skin peel off and stick to the box.

Initially, the daily work hours were from 7:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. But later on, the guards said that more shipping containers were waiting to be filled for delivery. So sometimes the work hours were extended until past midnight or even around 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. Later, when they ran out of space in the big hall, the authorities moved the wax production assembly line to the narrow hallways between the cells. Those cells were already poorly ventilated. Now, not only were the cells full of odors of chemical perfume but the hallways became contaminated as well. People became dizzy and lost energy as a result. The long work hours and the toxic smell made Falun Gong practitioners dizzy and weak in the four limbs. For example, a practitioner named Ning in the 1st Brigade returned from the big hall and felt dizzy and weak. He lay on his bed and could not get up. Once, an elderly Falun Gong practitioner turned pale and had to be helped back from the wax-processing hall.

The wax-processing work continued until early 2002. This is only one example of manufacturers using slave labor from Chinese labor camps. They especially take advantage of this type of labor around the peak period of overseas holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year.

Apart from the slave labor-produced products mentioned above, the Longshan Labor Camp also assembles and/or manufactures festive decorations such as snowmen and snowflakes, etc. In addition, they also make shoe soles and sew overcoats and other products. The work hours for those products are even longer and the labor is more intense.

8. In order to make some quick money for themselves, prison guards at the Jiamusi Forced Labor Camp in Heilongjiang Province accepted illegal production projects, and forced camp inmates, Falun Gong practitioners included, to do the intensive production work. They used a very inferior grade of rubber with toxic levels exceeding the industry standards to make cell phone cases. This has seriously harmed the health of the inmates who handled these materials. Because of the hard slave labor and toxic materials, Falun Gong practitioners suffered tremendously and were not able to work after a while. Practitioners who refused to do the work were severely beaten.

Practitioners were also subjected to forced slave labor involving other carcinogenic raw materials. Starting on March 8, 2003, all of the inmates from the No. 9 Brigade of the Jiamusi Labor Camp, totaling more than 80 people, were forced to make cell phone cases. The factory provided the raw materials and the labor camp provided the manpower. The planned annual production is valued at three million yuan, which is tax-exempt, and both parties gained tremendous profit from this deal. In fact, the labor camp is selling business licenses.

The rubber was of poor quality and gave off an irritating gases that brought about a harsh choking sensation. The guards on duty couldn't sustain the smell and asked the technical supervision bureau to send their people to check it out. The people from the technical supervision bureau came with detection instrumentation. After lab tests they said that the toxin levels in the raw materials used were well beyond the industry standards and could cause cancer. Thus, the guards on duty wore large facemasks and stayed outside while guarding the practitioners, and never entered the production area while the practitioners were working there. At the same time, the cell phone cases made by these toxic raw materials brought harm to consumers.

Mandatory overtime was enforced in order to meet the daily production quota. Many practitioners and inmates suffered from constant bloody running noses, irregular heartbeat and difficulty breathing. Dafa practitioner Ms. Shi Jing had a pale face and collapsed on the worktable due to being overworked. Later, when she had revived a little, she was forced to continue working.

In April 2002, the No. 7 Brigade received a production project involving making flax cushions for car seats. Practitioners were forced to perform slave labor from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. nonstop. This kind of flax produces a lot of particles and dust, which is harmful to one's health, irritates the respiratory system and causes an itchy throat and difficulty in breathing. There were no safety measures in place in the production area. Practitioner Ms. Cao Xiuxia became ill from the long hours of slave labor and the terrible working conditions. Because she could not work any more, prison guard Sun Limin beat her savagely.

In July 2002, authorities responsible for the No. 7 Brigade forced Falun Gong practitioners to construct paper boxes for moon cakes, using toxic and foul-smelling glue. Many practitioners became ill, with inflamed and swollen eyes, but the prison guards didn't care.

9. The No.1 Female Forced Labor Camp in Shandong Province conspired with several factories to force Falun Gong practitioners to make bedding products, process plastic cement packages and put name-brand labels on quilts.

Falun Gong practitioners detained at Division Five of the labor camp suffer the most. Their workshop was located in the basement of the labor camp cafeteria, where sewer pipes run through. The room was low and dark, and foul-smelling water from the pipes constantly leaked into the room. A dozen sewing machines, both electric and manual, as well as eight 3-meter-long work tables were in the room. The exit of the basement room was blocked to serve as the restroom, where a urinal was placed. Since there was no wall that actually separated the restroom from the workshop, the stench was overwhelming. When practitioners worked in that basement room, the noise of the sewing machines and from machines in the kitchen above created an overwhelming, traumatic experience.

Female Falun Gong practitioners were forced to work in this basement for 12 to 15 hours every day and were deprived of daylight and fresh air, in addition to having to endure noise of more than 200 decibels. The practitioners' health drastically declined, as they fell ill with weak nerves, colds, headaches, upset stomach, gastrointestinal problems and impaired hearing. The practitioners frequently went to talk to the guards and asked for a ten-minute break at noon or in the evening, but guards Niu Xuelian and Zhao Jie refused to allow them a break.

The guards also extended the practitioners' work time. If the daily production quota was not met, the guards cursed at the practitioners, deducted the practitioners' points and extended their terms. Guard Zhao Jie claimed, "The government cannot feed you for nothing! If you don't do a good job you'll receive more punishment! We have more than enough ways to deal with you!"

Chinese version available at http://minghui.org/mh/articles/2004/2/25/68517.html

3. The Story Behind Making China's "Sanitary" Chopsticks -- Exposing Slave Labor Practices Inside Chinese Labor Camps (Part Three)

10. Methods of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners not only include cruel torture but also forcing high intensity labor in Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp in Jilin Province. Overworking practitioners is a method used by the officials of the Forced Labor Camp to break down Falun Dafa practitioners physically and mentally. For example: each person processing the masks is required to finish 500 pieces per day when it is only possible to do about 300. Each person processing handicraft products on small clothes is required to finish from 100 to 150 pieces per day. It is impossible to finish. Any practitioner who doesn't finish the unreasonable quota, is punished and beaten. So, the curses and the threats happen every day.

Under extreme mental pressure and harsh physical labor Falun Gong practitioners can't practice Falun Gong in Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp, so their physical bodies have become very weak. Many of the practitioners have heart disease, high blood pressure, cough up blood, have pulmonary disease, or are in a coma and bleeding. Even though some practitioners can't get up, the police still force them to go to work. As long as the practitioners can still breathe, they have to work.

Changchun Nanguan District Sanitation Materials Factory (Mask Processing Factory) and Changchun Yuping Crafts and Fine Arts Factory (The Clothes of Ling Puppets Handicraft Products Processing Factory) have contracts with Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp.

Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp also forces the practitioners to collate book pages which is very hard to do. The first procedure for processing a standard book is called collating large pages for a book. The shape and size of the large pages are the same as the pages of the regular Chinese newspapers. While folding a large page, the person has to make sure that the page numbers match and are in the proper order. Then, gradually fold the large page down to the standard size of a book. One large page is called one "Tai" and there are about eight or nine "Tai" for one book. Because of the large quantities, these large pages can be stacked as tall as a person. Folding fifty pieces is called one "Da" (some books use one hundred pieces for one "Da") and five "Da" are one package. People who work fast can finish between nine to eleven packages in fifteen to eighteen hours. Beginners can only finish two or three packages. The work is monitored for both quality and quantity. If a person folds the large page just a little bit off center, it will be very easy to cut off the words or the page numbers when doing the third procedure which is when they cut the pages down to size. Falun Dafa practitioners are all beaten and cursed by the police and the criminals during the folding procedure.

The folding board for the big pages is made of bamboo. It is about 38cm long and 6cm wide. It is also used as an implement of punishment. Liu Lianying, the head of the Second Brigade, beats Falun Dafa practitioners with the bamboo folding board, especially on their faces and mouths. From 1999 until 2001, Falun Dafa practitioners Zheng Donghui, Zheng Sixiang, Xu Gongchun, Tian Xiuhua and others all suffered from this torture so much that their faces and eyes were swollen and there were big knots on their foreheads.

An article revealing the crimes committed against practitioners in this place was written by a Jilin Falun Gong practitioner and published on the Minghui.net. In the article, she pointed out that the purpose of forced labor for Falun Dafa practitioners in the Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp is to try to destroy the practitioners' will. She wrote: "On March 8, 2003, the officials of the Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp continuously forced Dafa practitioners to sort soybeans and only allowed them to sleep less than two hours a day for three days, using the excuse the work being a rush job. While sorting out the soybeans, the practitioners were so tired that our eyes were dim-sighted. Regardless, we had to carry the bags of sorted soybeans from upstairs to downstairs. Each bag weighed about forty five kilograms and we did over twenty tons. Next, we had to carry up the bags of unsorted soybeans from downstairs to upstairs. Each of these bags weighed about sixty-five kilograms. In all, we moved over seventy tons. At that time, no one knew how many old, young and sick people were involved processing this rush job. I continuously carried bags sixteen times round trip in two hours and another practitioner who worked with me did seventeen round trips in the same time. During this 'rush job,' some practitioners hurt their backs and some even threw up due to complete exhaustion."

A Jilin girl who was just twenty-two years old in 2004, said: "On January 8, 2003, I was transferred to the Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp, where they assigned me to the 'performing team.' After that, I was separated from others. I was not allowed to go out of the ward nor was I allowed to talk with anyone during times allotted for bathing or going to the bathroom. I was not even allowed to have a meal downstairs. In the daytime, I wasn't allowed to close my eyes, to sit with my legs crossed or to stand in front of the windows. We couldn't even look each other. That was not all, I was forced to attend brainwashing sessions, read propaganda and watch television programs all defaming Falun Dafa. This was the first time in my twenty years of living that I felt how terrible it was to lose my freedom."

"Because I persisted in practicing Falun Dafa, policewoman Xiao Aiqiu talked to me several times. When she saw that didn't work, she decided to not allow my mother to visit me and threatened me several times that if I didn't give up Falun Gong I would have to stay there longer and would be locked in solitary confinement. I got sores that festered very fast. She didn't dare to touch me, so she only kicked me several times. Under the tremendous mental pressure and fear every day, I could hardly sleep. Sometimes I woke up from nightmares even though I had just fallen asleep. I felt much older than twenty during that period of time. Later, I became scared, very emotional and nervous, and I didn't want to talk with anyone. I couldn't take it any more and almost went crazy. Previously I had been such an active and bright girl."

The girl said that after she wrote the "Renouncement Statement" (the written proclamation giving up practicing Falun Gong), which was contrary to her inner belief, she was released from the solitary ward, where she had been confined for thirty-five days. Then she was sent to work in the workshop and to practice dancing.

She also said: "Our regular work and rest schedule was that we got up between 4:30 and 5: 00 AM. After washing our faces and brushing our teeth, we immediately went to work and went to sleep at 8:30 PM. Sometimes we were forced to work overtime until 9:00 or 10:00 PM. The latest time was past midnight and we had to get up at 4:00 AM in order to finish the rush work. Our only rest time was when we had a meal or when we went to the bathroom. It was even scheduled what time we could go to the bathroom. They only allowed us to have twenty minutes to finish the whole process from lining up in order and counting people's numbers, getting down to the canteen and having a meal, washing the dishes, and counting the numbers before going back upstairs, so we had to eat quickly. After a long period of time, many people developed stomach problems by doing it this way.

The girl who continuously refused to give her name: "In Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp, the First Brigade was required to make butterflies and birds. The Second Brigade was making birds and collating book pages. The Third Brigade was making the birds and collating book pages. The Fourth Brigade was collating book pages and processing the small toy clothing craft products. The Fifth Brigade was making various birds. Some of the birds were made of feathers while others were made of paper. The Sixth Brigade was making the birds and processing the small toy clothing craft products. The Seventh Brigade was making birds, small toy ship craft products and sewing products. In addition to that, they also processed some other products such as advertisement banners, paper bags, paper boxes and other things. The bird and butterfly craft products and small toy clothes were exported to Japan, America and other countries. Every year the brigades regularly turn over a lot of money to the Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp, the rest of the money all becomes the warden's bonus, so the production quantity directly relates with the warden's benefits."

"The performing teams don't have a fixed output in the Changchun Heizuizi Female's Forced Labor Camp, but they do have this in the fifth brigade. We were not only doing the work but also rehearsing dances. There were no words to describe how tired we were. Whenever we hurried up to finish an order of product, we had to continuously work overtime. It seemed that we would just get to sleep, and it was already time to get up. People were so tired that they could go to sleep standing up. Every time when a holiday was coming such as May first, July first or October first, we were required to rehearse dance performances over and over from the morning until the evening. After dancing the whole time, we couldn't feel where our feet were. The exhaustion and the extreme mental pressure made me rapidly age. Now, I already have some wrinkles on my face and I look a several years older than I did a year ago. Once policewoman Xiao Aiqiu told me to bring a dancing tape to the workshop and put it on the table, which I did. However, there was a box of glue on the table too. When she saw that the tape was next to the box of glue, she yelled: 'If the tape gets dirty, I will kill you.' Another time while going downstairs to rehearse the dance, Xiao Aiqiu told me to hold her drinking glass and said to me: 'If you drop my glass, I will kill you.' One time before the formal performance, a dance wasn't prepared enough, and she said to me: 'If your performance tomorrow isn't good, I will shock you to death with an electric baton.' It was as if a tape, a glass, or a performance was more valuable than my life. One time I saw the policewoman Wang Limei shock an over fifty-year-old practitioner because she insisted on practicing Falun Dafa. When I heard the sound of her being electrically shocked, I felt as if the electric baton was shocking my own body. I can never forget that scene."

Another Falun Gong practitioner who wrote to the Minghui.net said: "I was abducted by the police from my home on March 16, 2003, and was sentenced to a year and half of forced labor in the Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp. Their excuse was that I was found to have a Falun Dafa book. Most of the people who were held at the facility were Falun Dafa practitioners and the rest were criminals. Every day, we were processing handicraft products such as birds, butterflies, and small toy clothes in the workshops of the third brigade. It was said that those were exported overseas. There were over thirty people in our workshop."

"One day in May or June 2003, we were working in the workshop. About 2:00 PM, the labor camp police suddenly shouted at us to close all the windows and not look outside. So all the windows were closed but they forgot to close our workshop's windows. What happened? What were they doing? Some Falun Gong practitioners and I looked outside through the open windows. We saw four medical workers with masks and isolation clothes carrying a person on a stretcher. They had come from the ward opposite the second brigade. The person on the stretcher wore the camp's clothes. Her head was covered and she didn't move at all. While stepping down, the wind blew the cover off of her head and we saw her face. It seemed that she was dead. They carried her out of the camp gate and took her away in a vehicle. Meanwhile the automatic door was closed and we couldn't see any more."

"Later on, we asked around privately and found that the person who was carried out of the camp was a Falun Dafa practitioner and she was indeed dead. We didn't know her name and we didn't know how she had been tortured to death. This is because the practitioners were not permitted to talk to each other in the Forced Lobar Camp. Hopefully, some practitioners who were released from the second brigade of Changchun Heizuizi Female Forced Labor Camp can expose the facts of her murder to the public.

Chinese version available at http://minghui.org/mh/articles/2004/2/25/68518.html

4. The Story Behind Making China's "Sanitary" Chopsticks -- Exposing Slave Labor Practices Inside Chinese Labor Camps (Part Four)

11. According to Falun Gong practitioners who were once incarcerated in Yitong Detention Center in Yitong Manchu Autonomous County, Jilin Province, the staff at Yitong Detention Center forced them to work as slaves without any pay, labor rights, or even human rights, to make a type of handicraft for export referred to as the "Handcrafted Artificial Bird." Everyday they worked extremely long hours and took a severe toll on their health. The incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners were held as slaves to provide free labor beyond their physical limit, and they were also subjected to the disciplinary staff and slave labor supervisors' brutal beatings. Wang Qi from Yitong Manchu Autonomous County's "610 Office" did not deny it when Minghui reporter Chu Tianxing contacted him to confirm the alleged slave labor in the forced labor camps in Yitong County. [The 610 Office is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political or judicial systems.]

The "Handcrafted Artificial Bird" is a type of export product. Each bird is made of molded polystyrene in the shape of a bird wrapped with Ricepaperplant Pith (or Medulla Tetrapanacis) glued with bark for the wings and feathers for its tail. The prison inmates at Yitong Detention Center worked as slave labor supervisors at different levels. Falun Gong practitioners illegally detained in Yitong Detention Center did not get any days off given to all detainees. Moreover, they were often forced to work into the night until one to two A.M. In order to increase the production output, the disciplinary staff would even deny Falun Gong practitioners sleep for three to four days. All the revenue from slave labor went into the pockets of the disciplinary and other staff members at Yitong Detention Center.

Besides being held as slaves to work long hours exceeding a normal human limit, Falun Gong practitioners were subjected to the disciplinary staff and inmates-turned-supervisors' brutal and willful beatings on a daily basis. Inside sources revealed that at any time the disciplinary staff and inmates-turned-supervisors would use hand tools that were supposed to be used to make "handcrafted artificial birds" to torture Falun Gong practitioners. For instance, they would batter Falun Gong practitioners' shoulder blades with rubber-sheathed hammers, causing them excruciating pain. They would also flog Falun Gong practitioners' heads with rattan canes.

The disciplinary staff and the slave labor supervisors also made a new type of torture tool called "Giant Wood Planks." Someone at Yitong Detention Center made a ragged verse of black humor to describe the horrible impact of such a torture device: "One lick turns one pale (lack of blood); two licks turns one red (blood); three licks tears flesh." It was fairly common that the disciplinary staff and inmates-turned supervisors tore Falun Gong practitioners' flesh with the appalling flogging with the "Giant Wood Planks" every day. A practitioner with the last name of Bao was once subject to repeated floggings with "Giant Wood Planks" on the hips. The injury was so severe that the practitioner was unable to recover even a month after the flogging.

A government official on the Economics Committee in Yitong Manchu Autonomous County once revealed that several units under the Economics Committee were indeed responsible for the production contract of "Handcrafted Artificial Birds." It is "normal" for the detention centers and forced labor camps to bid contracts at an extremely low price from the local manufacturing plants and then force detainees to provide slave labor to complete the contracts. Commercial production using incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners as slaves is the very reason why the detention centers and forced labor camps can afford to bid so low on commercial contracts and still make a profit.

12. Xin'an Forced Labor Camp in Beijing and Mickey Toy Co. Ltd. in Beijing once cooperated to profit from a toy bunny contract, where they enslaved incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners to make toy bunnies for the Nestle Company.

Picture 1: Photo of Beijing Mickey Toys Co., Ltd sign board on its front gate.

Picture 2: Toy rabbits produced by Mickey Co., LTD for Nestle

13. The No. 1 Female Forced Labor Camp in Shandong Province became the production plant [using slave labor] for the Lider General Corporation Ltd. in Shandong Province and Tianyi Printing Company Ltd. in Jinan, Shandong Province. Incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners were forced to process and sew quilts for Lider General Corporation Ltd. and to put name-brand labels on the quilts such as "Beijing Jiangyaling" and "Shuanghe" for Tianyi Printing Company Ltd. The quilts are exported to more than ten countries, including the United States, Canada, Chili, the EU, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and other countries.

III. Slave Labor Violates Chinese Laws and the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Slave labor in China violates the Chinese Constitution, as well as the following Chinese Laws:

  • PRC Constitution, Articles 17, 35, 42, 43, 44
  • PRC Law on Work Safety--2002
  • PRC Law on the Prevention and Cure of Occupational Diseases--2001
  • PRC Law on Trade Unions--1992, amended 2001
  • PRC Labor Law--1994
  • Regulations on Labor Protection in Workplaces Where Toxic Articles Are Used--2002
  • Regulations on Enterprise Minimum Wage--1994
  • PRC Regulations Governing the Settlement of Labor Disputes in Enterprises--1993
  • Constitution of the Trade Unions of the People's Republic of China--1998

It is in the very Chinese Constitution that forbids slave labor. Because of the limit in article length, we are listing only Article 42 and 43 from the Chinese Constitution

Article 42. Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right as well as the duty to work. Using various channels, the state creates conditions for employment, strengthens labour protection, improves working conditions and, on the basis of expanded production, increases remuneration for work and social benefits. Work is the glorious duty of every able-bodied citizen. All working people in state enterprises and in urban and rural economic collectives should perform their tasks with an attitude consonant with their status as masters of the country. The state promotes socialist labour emulation, and commends and rewards model and advanced workers. The state encourages citizens to take part in voluntary labour. The state provides necessary vocational training to citizens before they are employed.

Article 43. Working people in the People's Republic of China have the right to rest. The state expands facilities for rest and recuperation of working people, and prescribes working hours and vacations for workers and staff.

According to [human rights] observers, the enslaved labor in the forced labor camps, detention centers, and prisons in China violates Chinese Laws, as well as the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, "No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms."

In May 2002, the Congressional-Executive Commission On China made several recommendations to the United States Congress regarding the United States' responsibilities for monitoring and improving China's human rights. One of the recommendations calls for enforcing the prohibition of the importation of goods made by prisoners into the United States.

According to a Taiwan Central New Agency report on May 11, 2002, although Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (10 U.S.C. ? 1307) prohibits the importing of goods made by prisoners into the United States, U.S. officials has not appropriately or effectively executed this law or denied import of prison labor products to the United States.

According to the Congressional-Executive Commission On China's 2002 Annual Report, "The United States and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 1992 to prevent import into the United States of products made using Chinese prison labor. A subsequent agreement in 1994 permitted U.S. officials, with Chinese government permission, to visit prison facilities suspected of producing goods for export to the United States." [1] U.S. officials have made 13 requests for site visits since 1996, but they have been permitted to conduct only 3 site visits in China.

The Congressional-Executive Commission On China recommended, "The US government encourages companies to adopt and follow a progressive code of conduct. The Secretary of Commerce, OPIC, and the Export Import Bank should be directed to give preference to companies that have a strong code of conduct and prove they have been following it in their business practices." [1]

According to the Congressional-Executive Commission On China's 2002 Annual Report, "The United States-China Relations Act of 2000 created a Prison Labor Task Force to monitor and promote effective enforcement of U.S. law in this area. Its first annual report to Congress stated, ''We believe that prison officials frequently provide prison labor to private, quasi-government, or government-owned manufacturing facilities to perform manufacturing and assembly work, and that the remuneration prisons receive for prisoners' services give prison officials no incentive to cooperate in preventing the export to the United States of goods made with prison labor.'' Overall, Chinese cooperation in implementing these understandings has been minimal." [1]

Founded in January 2003 "to investigate the criminal conduct of all institutions, organizations, and individuals involved in the persecution of Falun Gong" [2], the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) pointed out in an investigation report, "The forced labor system not only violates the basic human rights of the detainees, but also encourages the prison and labor camp systems to persecute the detainees because of the huge profit in products made by forced labor. In addition, it shakes the stability of international labor and trade market when these cheap products are dumped on the international market." [3]

More and more Chinese people will continue to overcome China's information barrier and reveal the facts about enslaved labor in China's forced labor camps.


[1] "Labor Rights and Working Conditions" in Chapter 2: Commission Activities in 2002: Issues and Recommendations of Congressional-Executive Commission on China Annual Report for 2002

[2] WOIPFG's Mission Statement

[3] "WOIPFG Report on Products Practitioners Are Forced to Manufacture in China's Labor Camps (Photos)"

Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2004/2/25/68519.html

Chinese version of the collection available at: http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2004/8/11/81465.html