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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid