Minor Uyghur girls in China forced to work in Xinjiang factory

Uyghur. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


IBNS: About 90 Uyghur minor girls are currently toiling for 14 hours a day in a  Chinese-run garment factory in Xinjiang, an episode reflecting the atrocities the community members are facing in the country.

According to reports, the girls are forced to face similar treatment for seven days a week.

They reportedly face  verbal and physical abuse routinely in the factory.

The Wanhe Garment Co. Ltd. in Maralbeshi county has a secret agreement with the nearby Yarkant 2nd Vocational High School under which female students aged 16 to 18 are sent to work at the factory against their will, according to four sources, including a village chief and the factory’s security chief, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to speak freely, reports Radio Free Asia.

Local authorities have pressured parents not to object to sending their children to work at the factory, said the village chief, a woman who was responsible for coaxing the parents to let the girls go.

Workers at the plant, which also employs about a dozen women in their 30s and 40s as well as some men, are prevented from leaving. They sleep in dormitories on the factory compound. Most are Uyghurs, but about 15 are Chinese who came from elsewhere to work, reports the news portal.

The girls are kept in line by a middle-aged Uyghur woman named Tursungul Memtimin – called “teacher” by the workers – who regularly insults and criticizes them, and sometimes hits them with a bat, said the village official.

“The ‘teacher’ is known to have a very bad temper. She physically assaults the workers using a bat as a means of inflicting harm,” she said.

“The workers live in fear of her, and due to this intimidating environment, no one dares to make an escape,” the official told RFA.

Who are Uyghur Muslims?

Uyghur Muslims are a Turkic minority ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.

The Uyghurs are recognized as native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.