Authorities rescued some 379 people working as virtual slaves at brick kilns in Shanxi and Henan provinces, state media reported. Among them were more than 29 children. Some of the workers were abducted and others were forced to work in the kilns after applying for jobs. They were beaten if they refused, starved and forced to work 16-hour days without pay. In once incident reported by the South China Morning Post, six workers were forced to move bricks in a searing hot kiln. All six were seriously hurt but were not given treatment for over a month. By the time authorities arrived, one of the worker's legs was severly infected and he could not work. The factory had demanded that the worker's family pay the medical bills. The incident only came to light after a client of the factory in Hongdong told police.
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