This summer, stories began to emerge in the media of kidnapping and forced child labor in China’s Shanxi Province and Hongdong.

Children as young as 8 years old were being forced to work in grueling and unimaginable conditions at brick kiln’s in rural China.

I first heard about this type of slavery coming out of India and Pakistan, but China was the most recent country to endure the global spotlight.

Who knows how many locations there are in the world today where children are forced into this type of labor with no one to rescue them?

Here is one scenario: You’re kidnapped from your family and home and are forced to work 16+ hours a day making and moving bricks. Your only a child. When you slow down because of exhaustion you are beaten severely and told to get back to work.

You later learn the horrible fact that many around you have been locked for years in bare rooms with no bed or stove, allowed out only to work in the red-hot kilns, from where they carry heavy, burning loads of newly fired bricks on their bare backs. Many have been badly scalded. Your fifteen-minute meal-breaks consisted only of steamed buns and cold water.

At the end of the day, your head is spinning and your body craves sleep. You’re too tired to fight anymore.

“Will someone care enough to find me, to rescue me”, is what you ask yourself as you drift to sleep on the dirt floor next to dozens of other young people.

This is not a horror story…this is reality.

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