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Slavery in China

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Slavery in China

Chinese slave

Slavery in history affected millions in China.[1] Women and children were subject to sexual exploitation,[1] The 2007 Chinese slave scandal involved thousands of slaves, including, thousands of children, who had gone missing and were forced to work in brickyards.[2] Slavery in China also includes domestic servitude and forced begging.[3]

History of slavery in China

During the Shang dynasty, about 5% of the population was enslaved.[4] During the Qin dynasty, male slaves were forced to labor on projects like the Terracotta Army. Some slaves were those who had been convicted of crimes such as rape and were castrated and enslaved as a result.[5][6] Emperor Wang Mang banned slavery, but this was repealed after his death.[7][8] During the Tang Dynasty, there was a shortage of women, which resulted in trade with Koreans for women. During the Ming dynasty, slavery was banned; however, in practice, slavery continued through the Ming dynasty.[9] The Qing dynasty initially saw an increase of slavery in China, though there were measures against slavery.


  1. ^ a b "2.9 million trapped in modern-day slavery in China, 30 million worldwide".  
  2. ^ "China's child slaves: 'It would be easier to escape if we were allowed shoes' – video".  
  3. ^ Smith, Alexander (17 October 2013). "30 million people still live in slavery, human rights group says".  
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc (2003). The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 27. Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 289.  
  5. ^ Bayerischen Landesamtes für Denkmalpflege (2001). Qin Shihuang. Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege. p. 273.  
  6. ^ Mark Edward Lewis (2007). The early Chinese empires: Qin and Han. Harvard University Press. p. 252.  
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition. Greenwood Publishing Group. 2011. p. 155.  
  8. ^ Harcourt Education; Pearson Education (2006). Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion [Two Volumes]. Pearson Education. p. 420.  
  9. ^ Hallet, Nicole. "China and Antislavery". Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition, Vol. 1, p. 154 – 156. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007. ISBN 0-313-33143-X.

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