The Truth about Products Made Under Slave Labor Conditions in Hebei Province Women's Prison and Forced Labor Camp
Following up on the recent article “Exposing Products Made with Slave Labor in Chinese Prisons and Labor Camps” (http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2012/2/26/131758.html), what follows below is a description of some of the products made under what many would call slave labor conditions in China's prisons and labor camps. We hope that this and similar articles will help more people become aware of these corrupt practices, and draw attention to specific products that they may find on the shelves of stores in their own hometowns.
The many Falun Gong practitioners and others incarcerated in the Hebei Province Women's Prison and Forced Labor Camp have been forced to do intense manual labor for extended hours year after year. Many people equate these conditions with “slave labor.”
Every product so made is done so with the blood, sweat and tears of those forced to produce them against their will. Few realize how unsanitary and dirty these products really are.
1. Facts About Garments Exported from the Hebei Province Women's Prison
The main products in the Hebei Province Women's Prison are garments made by Jintai Co. Ltd. Garments have been produced here for many years. The baggy pants, jeans, long dresses and many other products manufactured here are exported to countries including the United States, Canada and Australia.
Work for the slave laborers begins by 7 a.m. They work until 10 p.m. without a noon break. When production levels are high, the laborers are deprived of sleep and must work day and night.
For example, from July 1 to September 5, 2004, the prisoners in the Fourth District of the prison worked day and night for two months and five days—a record. At that time, the temperature in the workshop was as high as 40 degrees C (104 degrees F). When some prisoners got heatstroke and fainted, the doctor came, pinched their upper lips, splashed some cold water on their faces, patted them until they became conscious and said, “You're okay now. Continue working.”
Due to long-term fatigue and unsafe working conditions, many workers pierce their fingers with sewing machine needles or end up with injuries using the button-making machines. When an injury occurs, the wound is simply bandaged and the victims are forced to continue working. Even business clients have been known to remark to the head of the Fourth District, “Look at you! Using your criminals as if they were mules!”
The garments produced here are often dirty. They are piled up in the aisle, so the workers step on them back and forth. The garments are then simply shaken out and ironed before being packed.
2. “Hygienic Chopsticks” Often Soaked with Sewage Backup
Both the Hebei Province Women's Prison and the Hebei Province Forced Labor Camp process disposable so-called “hygienic” chopsticks. But these chopsticks are anything but hygienic.
Typically, big bags of chopsticks are poured out onto the ground. Then, two by two, they are picked up and individually wrapped in paper or put into small plastic bags. They are then packed into boxes for sale. Each box is labeled: “All chopsticks are pasteurized and sanitized.” Is it really hygienic to use such chopsticks?
The restrooms, which are located outside, are constructed above a dirt floor. When it rains heavily, the cesspit overflows into the yard where the bags of unwrapped chopsticks are left. After the rain stops, the workers unpack the bags of chopsticks. They spread them out in the sun and them wrap them and pack them into boxes for sale. These are later sold as “hygienic” chopsticks. Can you imagine?
3. “Sanitary Napkins” Dumped onto the Ground before Being Packaged
Hebei Province Women's Prison also packages women's sanitary napkins. Large bags of sanitary napkins are dumped out onto the ground and then several people work together in a circle to package them into smaller packages for sale. During the process, stepping on the pads is unavoidable and happens very often. How can such napkins be sanitary?
4. Export Products Such as Bath Towels, Shower Caps, Masks and Diapers Not Sanitary
Bath towels, shower caps, masks, and diapers are also processed in the Hebei Province Women's Forced Labor Camp, where the conditions are far from sanitary. The workshop is dusty and extremely dirty. Calling such products, which are marketed internationally, “sanitary” is patently dishonest.
5. Using Fake English Packaging to Deceive Chinese and International Customers
Due to the powdered milk scandal in China in 2008 (where poisonous melamine was routinely mixed into the milk product to lower costs) Chinese people have become very cautious about buying dairy products. Many avoid Chinese dairy products altogether and buy only imported ones. Some unscrupulous companies are mislabeling their products with bogus English labels imitating foreign imports to deceive consumers. The buyers assume such products are imported and purchase them without question. The Hebei Province Women's Forced Labor Camp colludes with such companies to produce the English labels and packaging.
In this evil system established by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), prisoners of conscience are lumped together with common criminals in slave labor conditions, worked almost to death for illicit profits.