[JURIST] China's Shanxi province High People's Court announced the conviction of 31 defendants in 18 separate trials for their involvement in the use of slave labor at various brick kilns in the Shanxi and Henan provinces Thursday. The defendants were sentenced to between two to five-years in prison. Four government officials, convicted of dereliction of duty and abuse of authority, were among the 31.
In July, the court announced the completion of 7 trials and verdicts against 29 defendants [JURIST report], sentencing kiln bosses, foremen, and other workers to punishments ranging from 18 month to 9 year prison terms for illegal detention. Two other defendants were found guilty of more serious intentional infliction of injury charges; one received a life prison sentence, while the other was sentenced to death. In late June, the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress adopted a new labor contract law [JURIST report] that codifies administrative and criminal penalties for employers and government officials who either abuse or neglect their duties to laborers. AP has more. The People's Daily has local coverage.