By Kevin M. Mathewson
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
BEIJING, China — Chinese police have rescued 92 abducted children and taken 301 suspected members of a trafficking network into custody. A breakdown of how many boys and how many girls were kidnapped, or their ages, was not reported. However, police found sleeping pills commonly used for babies during the investigation. The rescue is being called one of the biggest busts of its kind in years.
On September 11, after a six month investigation, police simultaneously swooped into 11 different locations to free the children. No reason has been given for the delay in reporting the operation.
The freed children have been sent to hospitals for checkups and some of them have been sent to a children’s home in Zhengzou, Henan Province.
The trafficking of Chinese children and women has increased in recent years because of the strict Chinese one-child policy. There is a traditional preference for boys, especially in rural areas, resulting in an increase in sex-selective abortions.
Kidnapped women are sold to men in remote areas who are unable to find brides due to a sex imbalance resulting from the one-child policy. Some families even buy trafficked women and children to use as extra labor and household servants.
Child trafficking has become a serious problem in China. According to a report released by the China National Radio, about 200,000 children disappear in China each year. Of these, only 0.1% are found and freed from captivity.
Roughly 24,000 abducted women and children were freed in China last year.
The Chinese government has vowed to impose harsher punishments on people who buy kidnapped children. The government also said it would punish parents who sell their children.
On October 4 a U.N. committee is scheduled to issue its findings on China’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Beijing ratified in 1992.
For further information, please see:
BBC News – Chinese police rescue 92 abducted children – 28 September 2013
Reuters – China police rescue 92 kidnapped children: state media – 28 September 2013
The Guardian – Chinese police rescue 92 children from gang planning to sell them – 28 September 2013
Sky News – China: Dozens Of Kidnapped Children Freed – 28 September 2013
The Huffington Post – Chinese Police Free 92 Abducted Children In Rescue Operation – 28 September 2013