Guizhou Court Sentences Child Traffickers

October 27, 2005

The Guizhou High People's Court sentenced seven people to death and 38 people to punishments ranging from five years to life in jail for child trafficking, according to an October 19 Xinhua report. The Anshun Municipal Public Security Bureau set up a special investigation team that uncovered the network responsible for abducting 61 children in Anshun and Guiyang from April to September 2003. Most of the children were boys under five, and traffickers sold to them to counties in Henan and Hebei, according to an October 20 SCMP report. Officials have recovered 25 of the victims.

Academics and foreign NGOs in China have noted a trend of children and women being trafficked from ethnic minority areas to predominantly Han areas, according to an International Labor Organization (ILO) report and a July 2004 article in the Guangxi Minorities University Journal entitled "Sex Ratio, Marriage Squeeze, and Female Migration." They note that China's population planning policy and the preference for sons in Han agricultural families have resulted in a demographic crisis. Han farmers buy sons to ensure continuation of the family line. If they already have a son, they buy young girls or infants to do housework and marry their son when she is old enough, according to the ILO report. In this case, traffickers sold boys as "quality goods" for 10,000 yuan each, while selling girls as "substandard goods" for several thousand yuan each, according to the SCMP. Chinese news media have previously reported on the rise of trafficking in children in 2004 as well as the need for government agencies and NGOs to work together to combat trafficking.