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A Chinese labourer has hidden a note detailing his desperate circumstances inside a 'graveyard kit' from KMart.
It was like a fortune cookie, only the news was all bad. Julie Keith opened her box of Halloween decorations only to find a letter from a Chinese labourer telling how he is tortured, beaten, and being paid less than $2 a month.
"People who work here (at the Mashanjia Labour Camp in Shenyang, China) have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday Sunday break and any holidays," the handwritten note says. "Otherwise they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark, nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month)."
The Chinese Government operates many forced-labour camps for criminals – but ‘criminals' can include political dissidents or ‘cult adherents' who follow specific religions and are imprisoned without trial. "People who work here suffer punishment… without court sentence… many of them are Falun Gong practitioners, who are totally innocent," the letter continues. Falun Gong is a spiritual practice and its members are often targeted by the Communist regime.
In January a government survey of migrant workers indicated that the hukou (household registration) system continued to impose systemic discrimination on migrants. Survey respondents blamed the hukou system, which the government has repeatedly promised to abolish, for unfairly limiting their access to housing, medical services, and education. In August 2011 the Beijing city government ordered the closure of 24 illegal private schools that catered to migrant children. Most found alternate schools, although an estimated 10 to 20 percent had to be separated from their parents and sent to their hukou-linked rural hometowns due to their parents’ inability to secure suitable and affordable schooling in Beijing.
They need us, but the truth is we don't need them.