“Forced to work against our will,” is what the note said. Florence Widdicombe a 6-year-old girl from London innocently bought Christmas Cards to give to her classmates. She opened the package she bought at her local supermarket and noticed that one of the cards had writings on it.
“We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu Prison China,” the handwritten note said. “Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization.” Florence’s dad Mr. Widdicombe told BBC, “The first thought was it must be some sort of prank, but on reflection, we realized it was actually potentially quite a serious thing.”
The cards came from Zhejiang Yunguang Printing. “We have never done such a thing,” Zhejiang Yunguang Printing told The Global Times, a nationalist Chinese tabloid. With handwritten notes, it is hard to track down the validity of said note, but should be taken into account with precaution.
Tesco, the supermarket who sold the cards, suspended ties with this supplier. Tesco stated, “We abhor the use of prison labor and would never allow it in our supply chain. We were shocked by these allegations and immediately suspended the factory where these cards are produced and launched an investigation.”
Tesco has vowed to help stop prison labor. Major British companies are audited to help eliminate modern-day slavery in supply chains. Inmates trapped in Chinese labor camps today live in horrific conditions. Beatings, sleep deprivation and untreated illnesses are common abuses these trafficked victims endure.
25 million people are said to be enslaved worldwide in forced labor and are forced to work by threat or coercion. Human trafficking and modern-day slavery still exist! Let’s be aware of the plight many of our brothers and sisters still endure daily and speak up like this little girl and her family did when we notice something is wrong.