China probes child trafficking,
BEIJING, May 10, 2011 (AFP) - China has launched a
probe into the abduction of children allegedly born in violation of
population control policies then trafficked by officials into adoptions
worldwide, an official said Tuesday.
The investigation comes after Caixin magazine
reported this week that family planning officials in central China's
Hunan province had abducted children and sold them into adoption to the
United States, the Netherlands and Poland.
The case, which is not the first to accuse Chinese
family planning officials of abusing population control policies for
profit, sheds further light on the uneven implementation of the
country's "one-child" population control policy.
A government spokeswoman surnamed Tang in Longhui
county -- an impoverished region where many of the alleged abductions
took place -- confirmed to AFP that the investigation began on Monday.
According to Caixin, at least 20 children were
forcefully taken away from families in Longhui who were allegedly in
violation of the "one-child" policy and put up for adoption
One family claimed they had not broken the law, as
it was their first child, but family planning "enforcers"
nonetheless took the baby away.
"They mistook my daughter for being illegal
when my wife and I were working in Shenzhen (in south China),"
migrant worker Yang Libing told the magazine.
Yang said he has found his daughter, now seven years
old and living in the United States.
Family planning officials in Longhui county
allegedly received 1,000 yuan ($155) for each child handed over to
welfare agencies, which in turn received up to $3,000 for each child put
up for adoption overseas, it said.
The abductions peaked in the middle of the last
decade but had been occurring for 10 years, the magazine said.
Trafficking of women and children remains a serious
problem in China with many sociologists blaming its
"one-child" policy for fuelling the crime.
Under the policy, aimed at controlling China's
world-leading population of more than 1.3 billion, people who live in
urban areas are generally allowed one child, while rural families can
have two if the first is a girl.
This has put a premium on baby boys, while baby
girls are often sold off, abandoned or put up for adoption.
Up to 80,000 Chinese children have been reportedly
adopted by overseas families in recent decades, with most finding homes
in the United States.
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