Child-Theft Racket Growing in China – Mark Magnier

From The Los Angeles Times: Thousands are abducted for profit each year. Some are sold and later adopted overseas, while others are forced into prostitution or begging.

Some of the stolen children are babes in arms. In July, 52 ring members were convicted in the southern region of Guangxi after 28 baby girls, none older than 3 months, were found drugged and bound in nylon duffel bags on a long-distance bus. One died; the rest were taken to an orphanage.

The reasons for the terrible growth industry in child trafficking are as varied as they are disturbing. In a country that earns millions of dollars a year from foreign adoptions, some children end up abroad. Others remain in the country, especially in rural China, where having a son is still seen as a must for inheritance, carrying on the family line and tending relatives’ graves. But girls are also in demand in areas where men significantly outnumber women, as wives, caregivers for older relatives and for families that already have boys.

In the worst cases, activists and nongovernmental groups say, some are forced to work as prostitutes, maids or in begging rings.

January 1, 2006 2:27 PM
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Categories: Law, Society