Friday, September 07, 2007

Baby Trafficking in China

This appears to be a case of babies abducted with the intent of being sent to other families in China.

China Cracks Suspected Baby Trafficking Gang
Chinese police have detained 47 people accused of trafficking babies, rescuing dozens of infants from a trade driven by rural families' desire for children, state media reported on Friday.

The arrests resulted from a months-long inquiry after police grew suspicious of four women carrying babies on a train from the poor southwest province Yunnan to richer east China in May, Xinhua news agency reported.

The women confessed the babies had been bought in Yunnan's capital Kunming and were headed for sale in Shandong, a rural province in the east. A police probe revealed the network that had traded dozens of new-born babies.

"Forty out of more than 60 babies who were trafficked by the gang have been rescued by police so far, while police were trying to find the others," Xinhua said.

There was no suggestion that any of the babies were meant for foreign adoption.

The report did not say whether the natural parents had sold the children or were victims of abductions. Child-trafficking cases in the past have involved both payment and abduction.

China's problem with child-trafficking reflects poverty, regional economic imbalances and population control policies that restrict family size -- often to two children in the countryside.

The restrictions have bolstered a traditional bias for male offspring, seen as the mainstay for elderly parents, and have resulted in abortions, killings or abandonment of girls.

China has about 119 boys born for every 100 girls, an imbalance that has grown since it introduced the policies aiming for one-child per family more than 25 years ago.

The imbalance has created criminal demand for abducted or bought baby boys, but also for baby girls destined to be future brides attracting rich dowries.


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