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Efforts boosted against human trafficking

By Zhang Yan  (China Daily)

10:14, January 22, 2013

Seven Vietnamese women cross the China-Vietnam border to return home early last year. The women had been abducted and taken to Dongxing, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, in 2011. One of them got a chance to make a phone call to Vietnamese police, who coordinated their successful rescue with Chinese counterparts. (CHINA DAILY/TANG Huiji)

China rescued and repatriated 1,281 abducted foreign women last year, along with 84 abducted foreign children, a senior official with the Ministry of Public Security has said.

Most of the victims were from neighboring countries, such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, said Chen Shiqu, director of the ministry's human trafficking taskforce.

Recently, police also found some abducted women from South American countries, such as Colombia.

In a typical case, in October, police in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, found four Colombian women working as prostitutes during raids on karaoke bars and other entertainment venues.

The International Organization for Migration's China office had told authorities in August that several South American women had been trafficked to Guangzhou to work in the sex industry.

With help from the Colombian embassy, police eventually arrested five Colombian nationals suspected of people smuggling. The four women were repatriated, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Criminal gangs operating out of countries such as Colombia have also become a major challenge in the fight against human trafficking in part due to the successful efforts to wipe out the problem in North America, said Dai Peng, a professor of criminal investigation at the People's Public Security University of China.

"The situation got worse last year," Dai said.

"Human trafficking mainly stems from poverty, and the recent unstable political situation in some South American countries has resulted in a flow of people to other countries," Dai said.

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