The Chinese police rescued 92 children and 2 women on September 11, 2013 from a trafficking network in 11 provinces after a six-month investigation. 301 suspects were arrested in connection with the kidnappings.
The traffickers sought out children from the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. Most of the children were under the age of two. The babies were given sleeping pills in order to be kept quiet while they were being transported. The children that were rescued were sent to hospitals to be examined and were then sent to the Zhengzhou Children’s Welfare Home until their biological parents were found.
China has a high kidnapping rate and has been dealing with this problem for years. In 2012, 200,000 children were reported as missing as a result of human trafficking. A very small percentage of these missing children are found.
China has a one-child policy to help control their large population. Critics have blamed this policy on making the demand for children more prevalent and increasing the rate of kidnapping. Women and children are wanted by the traffickers to sell as servants. Families who cannot have boys of their own, want the male children because they believe that males are superior. Women are sold to men because there are some areas in high demand for brides as a result of the one-child policy. A lot of rural locations have a higher ratio of men to women, which makes it difficult for the men to find wives. Many boys and girls are kidnapped in order to be sold for adoption or prostitution.
China’s government recognizes the kidnapping problem within their country. The government has decided to impose stricter punishments to people who kidnap, buy and sell children. They have also considered creating severe punishment towards parents who sell their children to traffickers. 13,000 abducted children and 23,000 women were rescued within the past two years.
Will the government’s implementation of stricter punishments and laws deter kidnapping? Will these new regulations make the kidnapping rate decrease?
While the government regulations to help deter kidnapping are done in good faith, I do not believe they will have the desired impact. The law assumes the rational actor, and criminals are far from rational, as evidenced by the lengths they would go to traffic children, endangering both their physical and mental well-being. The crime is the most prevalent issue, and needs to be stopped, but we also need to look at the circumstances that China has created for itself that has led to these issues. Coming from a western perspective, the one child policy seems very intrusive and limits the ability to fulfill one’s destiny for one’s family and has forced people to work outside of the law to get what the desire. More can be done to deter those who are benefiting from the kidnappings, such as arresting the ultimate beneficiaries of the crime, or putting charges of conspiracy against them. This seems like too big of an issue to do away with in one comment and should be looked at from multiple angles, including women’s rights, child abuse, governmental abuses and human rights.
The government should definitely impose harsher punishments. Two hundred thousand children missing as a result of human trafficking in 2012 is a huge number. Harsher punishment may deter criminals from kidnapping and selling children and women, but they must be readily enforced. I believe that China’s one-child policy meant to curb the population is a major catalyst for why parents sell their children to traffickers. This policy is very intrusive and inhumane. What these parents are doing is disgusting and disheartening, but the government’s one child policy might be an incentive for these people to make a profit off the children they are not allowed to keep. This whole conversation is disturbing and I hope that major change occurs in China. I am glad to hear that 13,000 abducted children and 23,000 women were rescued within the past two years, but I believe that the abduction rate was too high to begin with. I hope that new stricter laws are implemented, and that they help deter human traffickers.