China launches assault on child kidnapping

08:37, April 13, 2011      

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Answering public's rising outcries for children protection, the Ministry of Public Security Tuesday ordered police to fan out nationwide and rescue all underage kids abducted by criminals.

The ministry said China's police must "take charge of children kidnapping cases in person" and do their utmost to clamp down on the vicious crime. The campaign is to last till October 1.

Incomplete statistics show that, since 2009, Chinese police have uncovered up to 13,000 cases of abduction of women and more than 7,800 child abduction cases. They have since rescued about 13,000 abducted children and 23,000 women. The victims are often sold, and some of the kidnapped women are forced to work in underground brothels.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Zhang Xinfeng said that heads of county-level police bureaus and other officials should supervise the handling of child-abduction cases "from beginning to end, " including searching for abducted children and offering comfort to the children's families, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

"Police efforts will not relax until abduction cases are cleared and resolved," Zhang said.

The campaign against children abduction has been long overdue, Chinese experts said, as tens of thousands of families have gone broke for lost loved kids. Children and women abduction has long been a social evil in the country.

Chen Shigu, a ministry official, told reporters Tuesday that, in many parts of rural China, couples with no offspring tend to "purchase" abducted children, as the convention of "boys carrying on the family line" remains deeply rooted in some of Chinese's minds. However, they seldom feel the pain of the families whose children were lost.

Chen said that "loopholes" in social management have caused a surge in the crime, as a huge number of migrant workers, a high risk group, have to work every day in the cities and leave their toddlers roaming on their own. Their uncared kids are usually easy targets of those predators.

The rampant kidnapping of the underage has aroused growing complaints and grievances from the public, who demand the Central Government in Beijing take resolute and harsh measures to tackle the crime. Under rising pressure, the police have to act, more aggressively and routinely.

Chen said that the ministry had offered A-level arresting warrants for 30 suspects involved in major abduction cases.

The public security ministry has created a DNA database for abducted children, containing blood samples of more than 20,000 children and their parents. These samples have helped confirm identities of 1,040 children.

Yu Jianrong, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, launched an initiative late last year calling netizens to take snapshots of children they see begging in the street and of other children suspected of being abducted, and post the photos on micro-blogs in the hope that family members will see them.

The campaign has succeeded in helping at least six abducted children be reunited with their families.

By People's Daily Online
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