178 Children Rescued in Human Trafficking Crackdown

Human trafficking in China is a big business. Humantrafficking.org provides a synopsis of this heinous black market industry, stating that China is a major source and destination for international human trafficking, but that the majority of trafficking activity occurs internally. The summary says that children are often recruited for labor by traffickers who promise that parents will see remittance money, or simply kidnapped to be sold for adoption. The BBC covers a recent nationwide bust:

Police in China say they have rescued nearly 200 children after uncovering two child-trafficking gangs.

More than 600 people were arrested in raids in 10 Chinese provinces.

A BBC correspondent in Beijing says the staggering numbers in the investigation reveal the scale of the country’s child-trafficking problem.

Critics blame China’s one-child policy and lax adoption laws, which they say have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

While this may seem a small victory for the authorities, an article in The Telegraph explains just how widespread this problem is:

As many as 70,000 Chinese children are thought to be kidnapped each year, often snatched from rural areas in the north of the country and then funnelled south to families in the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. Last year, Chinese police managed to rescue some 6,000 of them.

Some children are sold to would-be parents, who have either failed to conceive themselves or been limited by the one-child policy. Others have ended up on the streets, being enlisted as beggars by gangs.

The Guardian reports on recent intensified police efforts to eradicate this problem, and on a public lack of faith in the efficacy of those efforts:

Parents have complained of police inefficiency and indifference. In many cases their search for their missing children has relied primarily on their own efforts and those of others who have been affected.

Microbloggers have also sought to reunite families by sharing pictures of missing children and those seen begging on the streets.

Authorities stepped up efforts to tackle the problem two years ago. The ministry’s statement said police had cracked more than 7,000 trafficking rings since April 2009, rescuing more than 18,500 children and 34,500 women.

They have also launched a DNA database to help match children with parents, since many are snatched as babies or toddlers.

For further coverage, read about Charles Custer’s campaign against child kidnapping in China via CDT. Also, be sure to visit ‘Living With Dead Hearts‘ to help in the on-going production of Custer’s documentary dealing with this issue.

December 7, 2011 11:33 AM
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Categories: Law, Society