China sends strongest signal yet to stamp out women, child trafficking

(Xinhua) 09:38, March 31, 2022

BEIJING, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government is weaving an even stronger protection net for women and children, with a resolute stance voiced and tough measures pledged against human trafficking.

Following an alleged case of abuse against a woman in east China that grabbed much attention in February, a 10-month nationwide operation has been launched to crack down on the abduction and trafficking of women and children starting from March 1 to better protect these groups.

Premier Li Keqiang has made an instruction to ensure solid progress in this campaign -- which requires thorough investigations into related cases, rescuing the victims timeously, ensuring proper follow-up settlement and bringing criminals to justice -- another testament to the country's resolve to root out women and child trafficking in a rigorous manner.

Local authorities acted swiftly. A guideline targeting human trafficking issued by northwest China's Gansu Province set out tailored tasks, including prohibiting giving birth in others' names, strengthening management of marriage registration and fighting fake paternity tests.

"It is the bottom line of a civilized society to say no to the crime of human trafficking," said Jiang Yue, a professor of the School of Law, Xiamen University.

From top-level design to specific measures, a strong signal has been sent that China is willing to go the extra mile to ensure these vulnerable groups enjoy better protection.

The Chinese government takes safeguarding people's legitimate rights and interests as its top priority. This year's government work report clearly stated cracking down on the trafficking and buying of women and children.

A 10-year action plan targeting human trafficking was issued in April 2021, and before that, two similar plans have been rolled out and put in place covering the period from 2008 to 2020.

Resonating voices were also heard during the legislative session from the country's top court and top procuratorate, which in their work reports vowed corresponding actions to be taken to create a better legal environment for the protection of women and children.

In 2022, the Supreme People's Court will "severely crack down on sexual abuse and the trafficking of women and children," and the Supreme People's Procuratorate will also "prioritize prosecuting crimes that infringe upon the personal rights of women and children," according to the reports.

"The reports respond to public concern, so our people can rest assured," said deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) Wang Yan, who proposed tougher punishment on criminals involved in women and child trafficking.

In a bid to improve legislation to satisfy the people's needs and keep abreast with the times, the NPC, China's top legislature, will revise the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women this year.

Looking to the future, lawyer Fu Xusong, from the port city of Xiamen, suggested incorporating the women and child trafficking crackdown into grassroots governance, building a community-based system for preventing such crimes and mobilizing more social forces to pitch in. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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