Hooligan Sparrow

Human rights activist Ye Haiyan, AKA Sparrow, knew she faced these risks when she went to Hainan Province to seek justice for six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. But the intensity of the government's reaction surprised activists across China.
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Overview

Human rights activist Ye Haiyan, AKA Sparrow, knew she faced these risks when she went to Hainan Province to seek justice for six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. But the intensity of the government's reaction surprised activists across China.

About

Nanfu Wang
Nanfu Wang

Known as Hooligan Sparrow, Ye Haiyan has a long history of activism related to women’s rights, child abuse and sex work in China. Under the name Hooligan Sparrow, she blogs avidly about women's rights and is most known for her protest in 2012 as a free sex worker at a "Ten Yuan Brothel" to expose the poor working conditions of migrant sex workers.
While her work has won her the respect of international organizations, she has constantly come under attack at home in China. In 2009 after establishing a website that served as a forum for sex workers to speak out and founding “The China Grassroots Women’s Rights Center in Wuhan,” police began to take notice of her protests and advocacy work for women and sex worker’s rights. In 2010, Ye organized what is believed to be the first sex workers rally in China and afterwards suffered several attacks at her home, presumably orchestrated by local authorities. Most recently, Ye protested against a primary school principal in Hainan who took six girls to a hotel room.
A thorn in the side of local authorities concerned with maintaining social stability, Sparrow has been harassed, detained, physically assaulted, evicted, driven from various cities in China and experienced travel bans for her advocacy work. She is 37 years old and from the rural village of Wuhan in Hubei province; she is a single mother and has a teenage daughter.
Ye currently lives in Wuhan City and continues her activism despite being placed under residential surveillance. Her passport has been confiscated by the government since November 2014, and she is restricted from traveling.

By This Director

Hooligan Sparrow

01: Hooligan Sparrow

Human rights activist Ye Haiyan, AKA Sparrow, knew she faced these risks when she went to Hainan Province to seek justice for six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. But the intensity of the government's reaction surprised activists across China.

83 min