News / Asia

    Parents of Trafficked Children Petition for Justice in China

    Parents of Trafficked Children Petition for Justice in Chinai
    X
    July 24, 2013 10:22 PM
    This year the U.S. State Department downgraded China to rank among the world's worst human traffickers. The 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report found that although Beijing has created better awareness of the danger of human trafficking, authorities are still not making significant efforts to tackle the problem. Trafficking is acute among the younger population. Estimates put the number of children lost every year to trafficking at 200,000. Only 0.1 percent of trafficked children are found and returned to their families.
    Parents of Trafficked Children Petition for Justice in China
    VOA News
    Wu Liping was just a teenager when her little brother - Wu Yulong - was sold to traffickers.

    Yulong was the ninth child of the Wu family, who live in a village in southern China where authorities demand annual payments from families who exceed the one-child policy. His family could not afford another child and so allowed him to be adopted by neighbors who at the time had one daughter.

    But when Yulong was a year old, the family had another child, and it was a son.

    “That is when the fostering father started to consider selling Yulong,” she said, “He had a few friends who were in the business of human trafficking, they earned a lot of money doing it.”

    This year the U.S. State Department downgraded China to rank among the world's worst human traffickers. The 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report found that although Beijing has created better awareness of the danger of human trafficking, authorities are still not making significant efforts to tackle the problem.

    Traffickers target kids

    Trafficking is acute among the younger population. Estimates put the number of children lost every year to trafficking at 200,000. Only 0.1 percent of trafficked children are found and returned to their families.

    Kids are sold for a few thousand dollars and demand for babies, especially boys, is always very high.

    Police records paint a grim picture, with traffic rings buying or stealing children and then reselling them to the highest bidder; sometimes an orphanage, sometimes a gang of city peddlers, sometimes a childless rural family for whom male heirs are prized.

    “Those who do not have a son, do not dare to lift their heads in public because people in the village look down on them,” said Wu Liping, “If they do not have one of their own then they go buy one and bring it back. Human traffickers take advantage of this.”

    Four years ago, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security launched a nationwide anti-trafficking campaign and started creating a nationwide DNA database to help with investigations.

    According to the most recent official statistics such police campaigns helped rescue more than 54,000 trafficked children and prosecute more than 10,000 traffickers.

    Chen Shiqu, director of the anti-human trafficking office under the Ministry of Public Security, is often quoted on Chinese media saying that despite police efforts, it will take some time before China can completely wipe out human trade.

    “The phenomenon remains severe,” the Guangming Daily recently reported Chen saying, “demand in the buyers' market is high, and trading of children continues despite repeated prohibition.”

    Families band together to press authorities

    Many who have lost a family member to trafficking say that local authorities are not doing enough to get them back.

    Liping says that people in her town all know who the traffickers are, but police often turn a blind eye to the problem.

    “After my brother was lost, my father went to report it to the police. They asked us to write a record and register the missing person. They said they would contact us if they had news, but they did not even give us a receipt and there was no investigation done whatsoever," said Liping.

    Last month, an exhibition by artist Li Yueling brought the issue of missing kids to Beijing.

    Li painted portraits of more than 60 missing children, and interviewed the kids' families. Among them was Wu Xinghu, a father from Shaanxi province.

    More than four years ago, traffickers entered his home, used drugs to numb him and his wife and took Wu's newborn son, Jiacheng.

    Helped by his neighbor, Wu was able to record the license plate of a suspicious car that had been stationed around his home for the whole day before his son was kidnapped. But when he asked the police to investigate, there was no follow up.

    Pressing officials in Beijing for help

    Together with 22 other parents, Wu wrote a petition letter, asking that police seriously investigate human trafficking cases, and end local authorities' malpractice.

    The group traveled to Beijing to present their petition to the National People's Congress, wearing T-shirts bearing the photos of the child each lost. But before they could even present their petition, the group had been rounded up by local police. Two hours later, they were released after agreeing to abandon their campaign.

    Afterward, Wu Xinghu said, “we have lost hope with the local authorities. That is why I am appealing to higher levels, so that they can apply some pressure to those under them. If there is no pressure from the high ups, then there is no motivation for action at the lower levels.”

    He said that he will likely continue to petition high-ranking officials in the capital, because they are his only option for pressing law enforcement officials to try to find his son.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora