China's re-education camps forcing detainees to work

Before its abolition in 2013, China’s gulag-style laojiao system of re-education through work forced millions deemed to be political dissidents to perform hard labour. The emergence of a forced labour system within Xinjiang’s internment camps this year suggests Beijing is resurrecting elements of laojiao. In early 2017, Chinese authorities began using extralegal detention against Uighur Muslims and other minorities, including Kazakhs, in internment camps. The UN estimates at least 1 million people are being held in the facilities. Two of the largest facilities have opened forced worker factories this year which include shoe making, mobile phone assembly and tea packaging. The factories pay workers a base monthly salary of Rmb1,500 ($220).

Read more about China’s forced labour factories here

Sonja Duncan