Little People’s Kingdom under HR fire

by 27 Apr 2010

A Chinese theme park employing performing dwarfs has come under criticism from disabled rights groups that believe it is disrespectful towards its staff.

The Little People's Kingdom in Yunnan province employs 108 dwarfs from across the country that dance and sing in fairytale costumes twice a day.

The performers must pretend to live in a fantasy world with a king, an army, a health department, dwarf guardian angels and even its own foreign ministry.

Despite the park being a rare job opportunity for many of the employees, who have to perform group dances and acrobatics wearing tutus, disabled rights campaigners are labelling it exploitation.

Xie Yan, director of Beijing's One Plus One Cultural Exchange Center, said: “We need to go and tell [the theme park’s owner] how to respect disabled people's rights, how to help disabled people to develop in their own lives, and not to exploit people's curiosity for commercial success.”

But employee Li Caixia argued: “As soon as employers see us, they know they definitely wouldn't want a small person like us. They have to pay the same salary, so they all want to find someone more normal. But here, staffs aren't prejudiced like the people outside.”

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