China cracks down on child-trafficking gangs

National operation spanning nine provinces leads to arrest of 355 suspects and the rescue of 89 abducted children.

    A national operation in China has busted nine child abduction gangs, arresting 355 suspects and rescuing 89 children.

    China's Ministry of Public Security said on Monday that it conducted the nine-province operation in December after receiving reports of child abductions from southern China's Fujian and Yunnan provinces.

    The ministry said the child trafficking activities spanned several provinces and that the suspects bought abducted children in provinces including Yunnan and Sichuan and transported them to other provinces, where they were sold for huge profits.

    The official Xinhua News Agency said that in one case, a one-month-old baby boy from Yunnan province was sold for $10,000 to a family in Fujian province.

    A baby boy could fetch as much as $14,250, Xinhua said.

    Despite severe legal punishments that include the death penalty, child trafficking is a big problem in China.

    The commerce is highly profitable for the traffickers, and the demand is strong, driven partly by the traditional preference for male heirs, a strict one-child policy and ignorance of the law.

    Child buyers in China are not subject to criminal prosecution if they do not obstruct rescue efforts or mistreat the children, and legal experts are pushing for a law revision to make it a crime to buy abducted children, Xinhua reported.

    In 2011, Chinese police rescued 8,660 abducted children.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.