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Update: Hidden Note Revealing Chinese Labor Camp Has Helped Lead to Reforms

CNN has posted this in-depth story behind the note a K-Mart shopper in Oregon found hidden inside a package of cheap Halloween decorations. As we’ve reported before, the note was written by a prisoner at a Chinese labor camp who was being forced to work on the America-bound products. On the hand-written piece of paper, the prisoner pleaded with whoever found it to contact human rights organizations and try to get help for the people imprisoned. Many of the inmates there were locked up for maintaining religious beliefs that are at odds with the Chinese government.

Now, it seems that international attention for the story of the note is actually making a difference. CNN found the former prisoner—who told them stories of forced labor, horrific living conditions, regular beatings and torture at the Masanjia labor camp—and paid a visit to the prison. Today, the Chinese government is shutting it down for good. And even though there are still hundreds of labor camps hidden across the country, the exposure of the issue is leading a new group of Chinese officials to slowly institute reforms that may end the practice of forced labor camps in the country. Though Western companies still purchase products made in the remaining camps, as the piece notes, change is coming: “An empty Masanjia seems to be the ultimate testimony there is no going back” …

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