Chinese police have rescued 167 village children sold to work as slave laborers in a city in the booming southern province of Guangdong, newspapers said on Wednesday.
The children, all from the ethnic Yi minority, came from poor families in the Liangshan region of the southwestern province of Sichuan more than 600 miles away.
"In all, 167 child laborers have been rescued so far, 107 boys and 60 girls," the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po paper said.
The China Daily said there had been several arrests and printed a picture of one young girl crying after being rescued from a factory in Dongguan, an industrial city in the Pearl River Delta between Hong Kong and the provincial capital, Guangzhou.
China announced a nationwide crackdown on slavery and child labor last year after reports that hundreds of poor farmers, children and mentally disabled people were forced to work in kilns and mines in Shanxi province and neighboring Henan.