International cooperation is essential to stop the trafficking of women and children, said senior officials in charge of women's affairs as well as those from the Ministry of Public Security.
Gu Xiulian, vice-president of the All-China Women's Federation, praised the achievements reached by a project of the federation and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, which combats the trafficking of women and children.
"The project established an effective pilot mechanism in China to prevent human trafficking through wide-ranging co-operation among government authorities and communities," said Gu.
"It proves human trafficking can only be effectively curbed when the whole of society, instead of just the public security authority, makes an effort. Development should be given equal importance as safeguarding the rights of women and children in this cause," said Gu.
The project was highlighted at the meeting of the ILO and the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) that took place on Thursday and Friday last week.
The ILO-IPEC Mekong Sub regional Project to Combat Trafficking in Women and Children has successfully eliminated human trafficking in some remote villages of the province, since it was launched in June 2000.
The villages' persistent poverty used to make the inhabitants easy victims of human traffickers. But the poverty has been effectively reduced by the project through training in agricultural skills and direct financial assistance.
Fu Zhenghua, vice-director of the Criminal Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Public Security, also hailed the success of the Yunnan project.
He said he was glad to see that "the anti-trafficking struggle in China has been transformed from one-sided action by public security organs to multi-dimensional cooperation, from mere resistance to the combination of resistance and prevention.''
(China Daily November 4, 2002)