News/CHINA: CHINA TRIES TO CURB SELLING OF WOMEN.

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Subject: News/CHINA: CHINA TRIES TO CURB SELLING OF WOMEN.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 09:29:58 EDT


3-30-00 CHINA: CHINA TRIES TO CURB SELLING OF WOMEN.
By John Gittings in Hong Kong.
Horrific tales about the kidnapping of women and children are being
publicised by China to try to stamp out a crime that is spreading rapidly
across Asia.
The Chinese police regularly uncover organised rackets that offer country
girls jobs in the cities only to force them into prostitution or to sell
them to prospective husbands.

Children are also targeted: in a recent reported case in southern Guangdong
province, young boys kidnapped from the other end of the country were sent
out every day to pick pockets - and beaten viciously if they failed to meet
quotas.
Cases of trafficking in women and children are reportedly on the rise in
China. Its national anti-abduction campaign coincides with an international
conference that opened yesterday in Manila to find ways of ending the
`modern-day slavery' of Asian women and children.
The conference was told that trafficking in human beings is now the
third-largest source of money for organised crime in Asia, after drugs and
guns.

Tens of thousands of women and children are kidnapped every year in China;
more than 2,000 cases of kidnapping have been recently reported in the
province of Hubei alone. Women are frequently sold as wives to peasants who
cannot afford the cost of a traditional wedding.
Elsewhere, children kidnapped from the far-west region of Xinjiang have
been found in the southern city of Jiangmen working as pickpockets.
Jiangmen police recently a ring of 15 boys working for 12 kidnappers who
sent them out with a daily quota of money to steal.
National centres equipped for genetic testing have been set up to verify
parentage after the discovery of more than 30 kidnapped children in central
Guizhou province received national publicity earlier this year and led to
more than 400 alleged `parents' coming forward.
According to one speaker at the conference in Manila - jointly organised by
the Philippines and the US - nearly 250,000 women and children are `bought
and sold' every year in Asia.
GUARDIAN 30/03/2000 P15


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