Blog fights child trafficking

10:06, February 09, 2011      

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A picture of Peng Gaofeng's 4-year-old son, who was kidnapped in front of his shop. Photo: Google

By Huang Jingjing

Peng Gaofeng, 32, burst into tears at a police station in Pizhou, Jiangsu Province, when faced with his son for the first time since the boy's abduction three years ago.

"The crying man is my dad," the boy said.

This touching scene was broadcast live via microblog Tuesday by Deng Fei, a volunteer who had accompanied Peng in searching for his missing son.

Peng, hailing originally from Qianjiang, central Hubei Province, has been searching since his 3-year-old son disappeared in March 2008 on a street in Shenzhen where Peng and his wife operated a telephone booth.

Peng filed a report with local police, and surveillance footage showed the child being taken away by a man wearing a black leather jacket.

Vowing to find his son, Peng tried his best, including turning the booth into a search center for the child, offering a reward of 100,000 yuan ($15,197), and distributing information on his son through the Internet.

"I know I have to follow procedures and take a DNA test, but I'm sure that's my son," Peng told the Global Times Tuesday.

Peng said the couple, who took his boy away, had acted as his foster parents and that the boy was enrolled at a local primary school.

"I'm not going to investigate the liability, though. The man passed away. The only thing I want to celebrate is that my son is back," Peng said.

According to Peng, his friend Deng published a photo of his son in late January on his microblog and received an anonymous tip February 1 that an adopted boy in Pizhou resembled the missing child.

Peng's case has rekindled hope for many parents who have seen their children disappear as trafficking victims.

After receiving a letter asking for help from a desperate mother, Yu Jianrong, a professor with the ChineseAcademy of Social Sciences, set up a microblog late last month, urging Web users to take photos and post them on microblogs, in hopes that children reported missing may be recognized and rescued.

The move sparked an online storm as more and more people joined in the effort, including police officers and reporters.

Chen Shiqu, director of the anti-human trafficking office under the Ministry of Public Security, also kept up with the blog.

As of Tuesday, the campaign had attracted more than 90,000 followers and more than 1,800 pictures of begging children were posted, according to Hou Zhihui, an organizer of the campaign, who spoke to the Global Times Tuesday.

According to clues offered by volunteers, DNA tests were arranged separately for a pair of parents in Shaanxi Province and a child beggar in Zhuhai of Guangdong Province.


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