Ivanka Trump’s clothing line came under fire for its questionable pieces and high price tags earlier this year when the president and his wife were seen hawking it. However, now there is a new issue with her line: Two people who have been investigating the working conditions of one of her shoe factories in China have gone missing.
According to a recent report, Ivanka Trump’s shoe factory was only paying employees $1 an hour for their services. They were also forced to work for 12.5 hours per day, six days a week, receiving a monthly salary of roughly $363, or 1,500 Chinese yuan.
The conditions of Donald Trump’s daughter’s factory was being investigated by three men from the New York-based China Labor Watch when it was revealed that one of the men was detained and two were missing under suspicious circumstances.
It is assumed that the three men have been detained by Chinese officials.
One of the activists was working undercover, while two — Hua Haifeng and Li Zhao — were creating a report when the China Labor Watch lost contact with them.
Activist Su Heng wanted to create a report about the conditions in Ivanka Trump’s factory to get a clearer picture of the human rights abuse taking place in the Far East. This factory has been making shoes for the president’s daughter for over a decade.
Li Qiang, the executive director of China Labor Watch, stated that this is a first.
“This never happened before in my 17 years’ experience. This is the first time. The only reason we think this case is different is that this is Ivanka Trump’s factory,” he told the Washington Post.
The Chinese Labor Watch has investigated hundreds of factories in China and has tried to ensure a fair working environment for those overseas. Being a first for an organization that has been involved for 17 years says something about the severity and oddity of this current case.
William Nee, a Chinese researcher at Amnesty International in Hong Kong, made a statement about the disappearances and their connection to the current government in the country.
“The Chinese state seems to be aggressively going after any activists who have any ties to overseas organizations under the all-encompassing umbrella of ‘national security,'” he said.
Nee also pressured Donald Trump to utilize his newfound alliance with China to pressure the government to release the activists.
“President Donald Trump has bitterly complained of unfair trade practices, but now we have a vivid example of workers rights activists in China being detained merely for trying to ensure that labors laws are actually enforced in practice and don’t just exist on paper. He should use his new friendship with Xi Jinping to press for their release,” Nee said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has been evasive about what has happened to the three men. They denied that they knew of anything that occurred when questioned by NBC News.
“We have no information about this. We haven’t heard about this. We don’t know where you got your information about this,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
Hua also stated that foreign agencies could continue to investigate working conditions in China as long as they were “fair” and “abided by Chinese law.”
Hua Haifeng’s wife, Deng Guilian, told NBC News that she hasn’t heard from her husband since Sunday. She also told media outlets that she hasn’t told her young children that their father has gone missing and has also kept the news from his parents in order not to worry them.
“My husband does nothing to harm the society and even benefits the workers. Why was he arrested?” she said.
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]