89 Chinese Children Rescued in Trafficking Rings

In two raids this month, Chinese authorities rescued 89 children aged 10 days to four years. 369 suspects have been arrested. The raids are reminders that a black market in children remains alive and well in China, as the CBC says:

The busts highlighted China’s thriving black market in children — mostly involving buyers who want more children or those who want them as slave labour — that endures despite harsh penalties for traffickers, including death.

It was not clear from the reports posted Wednesday on the Ministry of Public Security website if sex abuse also might have been a motive. Calls to the ministry went unanswered.

On July 20, more than 2,600 police officers from fourteen provinces were deployed. China’s official news agency, Xinhua, reports that among the children rescued were 13 babies aged 10 days to four months in the city of Handan in Hebei Province in eastern China, with the majority being girls.

Earlier this month, another raid cross-border child trafficking operation in China’s southern provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi resulted in the rescue of eight children and the arrest of 39 suspects, mostly from Vietnam, says the New York Times. The rescued children have been sent to orphanages as their parents have not yet been found.

The New York Times quotes a “senior official” who said that criminal penalties for those arrested may not be that great unless the children had been abused. Some children have been stolen but, in other cases, children are sold by their parents:

“The cost of the crime of buying children is not great,” Liu Ancheng, deputy director of the ministry’s criminal investigation bureau, told the newspaper [the People's Daily, the newspaper of China's Communist Party]. He also blamed “the dreadful practice of buying and selling children in this country” on the traditional idea of the need for male offspring, especially in rural areas.

With urban families currently prohibited from having more than one child and rural families more than two, some families sell a female baby in order to try to have a boy.

The Global Post reports that authorities in China’s most populous province, Guangdong in southern China, have requested that families might be able to have two children in certain cases — namely, when one member of a couple is an only child, and has the “burden” of caring for six elderly adults (parents and two sets of grandparents). The one-child law has been blamed for creating a gender imbalance in Chinese society due to sex-specific abortions, female infanticide and parents putting up female babies for adoption.


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Photo by sherrattsam


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener6 years ago

Revolting practice!

Ameer T.
Ameer T6 years ago

I hope the sex slavers kidnapping and tranporting orphaned girls from Iraq and Afghanistan to be sold in the brothels in Europe and the US get caught as well.

Lilithe Magdalene

When will girls be seen as valuable for their very being - not their value as a commodity? I am a sex worker against trafficking and one argument people make is that prostitution is the problem (though we are talking two different types of trafficking here). I say our dismal view of the female of our species around the world is the problem. It makes selling baby girls, enslaving young teen girls and forcing or coercing women into non consensual sex an easy thing for people without a conscience to do. It breaks me heart so deeply that any human being can sell another human being without consent. I am glad they caught these guys, but I hope it changes China's policies - and their culture's attitudes about women. I hope these parents are - jeeze I don't know what to do with them. They need help, but for cripes sake - they sold their own child!!!

Jane L.
Jane L6 years ago

I don't think babies there are valued, cherished as they are here (in North America) for the human beings that they are. It seems that in China, they are bought and sold to adults or "parents", if that's what you want to call them, as utilities to meet family needs/functions - i.e. caring for the adult generation when the child is older.

In regards to that, my mom always says, "what's yours is always yours and what's not can never be yours." In other words, the truth can not be changed by simply selling their own daughter and "replacing" her for a boy. Your daughter will always be your daughter and that boy will always belong to someone else. One cannot really "buy" and "sell" human beings with paper money. People cannot be bought and sold. One can only deceive themselves by believing in the change of perception.

Caitlin Fowler
Caitlin F6 years ago

terrible. Lets hope more of this work can continue and this sort of thing can be stopped. i can't understand how anyone could sell there own daughter!

Christine S.
Christine S6 years ago

We need to change the way China thinks about girls, so a girl baby will not be seen as a detriment!

Shannon U.
Shannon U.6 years ago

This is so sad.....I can't imagine, as a parent, selling my child to anyone. I understand that some were stolen, for those I hope that they can find their grateful parents. For the babies who were sold, I hope that they find loving parents who will cherish them forever.

Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun6 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Ruth D.
Nicholas H D6 years ago

I think we have Human Rights all wrong, throughout the world. Adults earn Human Rights by their respect for every other Human Right in our World and this should include women and families who continue to produce more than one or two children maximum, when they (and our diminishing world) clearly cannot afford to feed and educate their tribe, hence lacking respect for all other Human's Rights, in expecting others to come to their aid. And in China I think their Leaders are right to restrict births to one for urban and two for rural families. And those Parents whether they be in China or wherever else in our World who sell or give away their offspring to the evil traffickers, deserve to lose ALL their Human Rights having sold/given away their offsprings Human Rights.
Then we have the interminable cushy (in some countries) imprisonments at other peoples' tax expenses for such terrible Human Rights' abuse perpetrators? Why when these criminals have sold/given away/taken other human being's Human Rights. With modern science being able to identify absolutely actual perpetrators, why do these people deserve any Human Rights?

Dominic C.
Dominic C6 years ago

89 rescued and there are hundreds more!