At The Guardian, Charles Custer writes that although several kidnapped babies were rescued in Shaanxi last month, Chinese police often fail to offer timely or effective help when children go missing:
“Back then, they just told me to keep looking,” said Yuan Cheng, punctuating the sentence with a lengthy drag on his cigarette. Sitting in his mud-floored home in Hebei province, a few hours north of Beijing, the farmer is talking about the lack of interest from the police when his 15-year-old son, Xueyu, went missing from a construction site in Zhengzhou in 2007.
[…] At the national level, China takes child abduction very seriously. It has a national anti-kidnapping taskforce that investigates and infiltrates trafficking rings, and there are frequent anti-kidnapping campaigns that encourage citizens to report anything suspicious. But at local level, where the first, crucial reports will be made when a child goes missing, parents say the police just don’t seem to care.
[…] Critics say that the slow reaction of local police plays into the hands of the traffickers. The involvement of organised rings means a kidnapped child could be taken thousands of miles and passed between numerous handlers over the first couple of days. [Source]
Click through to see two accompanying video reports. Read more on child trafficking and accusations of police inaction, and on Custer’s documentary on the subject, Living With Dead Hearts, via CDT.