Human trafficking is a serious problem in China, and as many as 70,000 children are kidnapped and sold each year. Last month, Xinhua released a report on the bust of a Child trafficking ring, also containing a summary of crack-down efforts since 2009. A recent article from The Economist on the illicit trade says that prices are rising in China – possibly due to a waning supply of kidnapped children, credits social media for raising awareness of the problem, and also introduces activists and officials working to eradicate the trade:
The authorities have launched several crackdowns over the past two decades, but the crime has persisted. Since a renewed effort began in 2009, more than 54,000 children have been rescued and 11,000 trafficking gangs “smashed”, Xinhua, the state news-agency, reported in December. Officials claim the problem has become less rampant.
Given the patchiness of official data, this is hard to prove. Individual cases of abduction are rarely reported by the state-controlled media. But Deng Fei, a Beijing-based journalist and prominent campaigner on behalf of victims and their families, believes the number of children being abducted is falling. Mr Xiao estimates that the price of abducted boys has risen in recent years from around 40,000 yuan to about 90,000, perhaps because the supply of abducted children has been affected by the police crackdown.
Social media may also have played a role. In recent years, parents and activists have been using websites and microblogs to share information about cases and draw public attention to child abduction. Their efforts have put pressure on the police, who have responded (unusually, given their suspicion of internet activism) by using the internet themselves to contact the families of victims.[...]
Earlier this month, The Telegraph’s Malcolm Moore reported on family planning officials suspected of trafficking children:
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