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Officials to Supervise Crackdown on Labor Abuse
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The government of north China's Shanxi Province on Tuesday dispatched 11 teams comprising police, labor and other officials to supervise the crackdown on labor abuse.

The teams will go to each county in the next 15 days to check that local authorities have investigated every brick kiln and enterprise suspected of labor abuse and how they dealt with the kilns and enterprises.

Shanxi Governor Yu Youjun also ordered the teams to investigate local authorities to see if and how officials involved in the forced labor are punished.

The province launched a crackdown on labor abuse and illegal brick kilns on June 14 after a forced labor scandal made headlines all over China in early June, sparking outrage among the public and arousing concern among the central leadership.

The laborers were forced to work more than 15 hours a day on poor food. Dogs were used to prevent them from escaping. Many received burns and other injuries working in hot kilns.

Officials announced on Friday that 359 people, including 12 children, have been rescued from illegal brick kilns in Shanxi.

Yu Youjun has apologized over the forced labor scandal, promising to do everything in his power to root out illegal practices.

(Xinhua News Agency June 27, 2007)

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