China intensifies fight against child abductions

0 CommentsPrint E-mail, April 13, 2011
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China's Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday ordered local police heads to "take charge of child abduction cases in person" in an effort to crack down on crime nationwide, Xinhua reports.

Vice Minister of Public Security Zhang Xinfeng said that heads of county-level police bureaus and other officials should supervise the handling of child-abduction cases from beginning to end, including searching for abducted children and offering comfort to the children's families.

In many parts of rural China, couples with no offspring tend to "buy" and adopt abducted children, as the conventions of "boys carrying on the family line" and "sons guaranteeing one's old age" remain deeply rooted in the countryside, said Chen Shiqu, head of the ministry's office for the crackdown on child abductions.

"In some remote villages, people even consider human trafficking as a good thing because they believe traffickers support their dreams of raising a child," he said.

He added that loopholes in social management have caused a surge in this crime as children of migrant workers, who are members of a high risk group, find it difficult to get access to education and parental care.

Since 2009, police have uncovered nearly 13,000 cases of abduction of women and 7,867 child abduction cases. Authorities rescued more than 13,000 abducted children and 23,000 women.

Chen said that the ministry had offered A-level warrants for 30 suspects involved in major abduction cases, 29 of whom authorities had seized.

As part of a new six-month campaign, police will conduct DNA tests on children of uncertain origin and match results with an anti-abduction DNA database which contains more than 20,000 blood samples from children and parents.

The database has already helped confirm the identities of 1,040 children.

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