These days, it’s hard to think of China without thinking of the endless reports of human rights violations that has plagued the country. From censorship to torture, there’s hardly a human right they haven’t spit on, with no indication that change is imminent. Being a Communist country, China has basically done what they pleased, trampling the human rights of its own citizens along with others. The Chinese government squeezes the country tight in its grip, using ultimate control and shameless propaganda to rule over its citizens. Many nations, the U.S. being the guiltiest of all, have turned a blind eye on such violations in the name of keeping business relationships intact.
The Economic Climate in China
China’s GDP has been increasing by 10% year after year, due in no small part to middle class Americans buying their products. The European Union has not been so friendly, and has voiced its disapproval for China’s disregard of human rights by keeping their pocketbooks shut. Though the U.S. claims to adamantly disapprove as well, the protest doesn’t extend to the retail marketplace, where products made in China are gobbled up like hotcakes.
American trade with China is still bustling as it has been for the last 15 years. Investors worldwide have boosted the country, which is now an indispensable part of the global economy. Unfortunately, the citizens of China have not shared in the wealth.
Most Chinese citizens own small farms and are forced to pay exorbitant taxes. Others work 100 hours every week in inhumane sweatshop like factories, earning roughly the equivalent of just under a dollar per hour. There are laws against independent labor unions, leaving very little hope for an improvement in wages or working conditions.
Some of the most egregious human rights violations occur in the Chinese prison system. Torture of prisoners and detainees is widespread, with strong evidence to support the deaths of many in custody. Severe beatings, starvation, and prolonged isolation are all used to elicit confessions and cooperation from prisoners. These techniques are not limited to political detainees.
Religious Persecution in China
In Tibet, countless Tibetans are incarcerated, their only offense being peaceful expression of political and religious beliefs. Chinese law enforcement treat these Tibetan criminals worse than dogs, subjecting Buddhist nuns and lay women to violent assault, rape, and degradation, with one Tibetan nun killed as a result of such abuse.
Chinese authorities have all but outlawed religious practice, having destroyed over 6,000 Buddhist monasteries since the invasion in 1949.
Abuse of Women in China
Violence against women in the form of spousal abuse is prevalent, and in most areas, socially accepted. Statistics about domestic violence are made unavailable to sweep the problem under the rug. The All-China Women’s Federation is seeking solutions, but is met with heavy resistance.
There are no shelters for women to escape from abuse to. In China it is the woman’s duty to keep the family together regardless of the personal sacrifices required to do so. It is socially unacceptable for a woman to report being abused, and proceedings can only be held if the battered party initiates and follows through with the complaint.
Protests of these behaviors have occurred across the globe, but it’s quite obvious that China doesn’t care. The control, brutality and disregard for human suffering continue with no end in sight.