Newspaper reports revealing a labor trafficking practice in China have surfaced. The investigation resulted after hundred of parents pleaded for the return of their missing children in an online article. As of yet, hundreds have been forced into making bricks in Shanxi, a northeastern province of china, many of them teenagers, the New York Times reported.

Similar to most trafficking rings, the process of locating the victims in nearly impossible. Some factories, not all of which are legal, are owned by a single individual – it is said that the workers are moved from one place to another and no records are kept on the location of the workers. And in many cases, the local authorities have proved to be just as corrupt as the factory owners. Parents have been forced to bribe local officials in order to tour the brick factories to search for their missing children. And in some cases, it is believed that the authorities are reselling the found children back into the ring.

According to a recent article in the China Daily, five suspects have been arrested and have confessed to their involvemnt. The search continues for three others. Many of the victims were lured by the prospect of a profitable job and some were captured during travel. All were forced to make brick under very severe conditions, including little water, meager rations of food, and physically dangerous working conditions.

It is believed that most of the victims were trafficked from the Shaanxi and Henan Provinces to Shanxi, where many of these factories are located.

To read the New York Times article, click here.
To read the China Daily article, click here.