Sunday, September 19, 2010

Is the Tide Turning in China?

Beijing Crackdown on Human Trafficking Frees 16,517 Women and Children. 2010-09-20 01:24:40

BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) - Chinese police freed 10,621 women and 5,896 children who had been abducted for human trafficking as of September 6,since the Ministry of Public Security launched a crackdown on trafficking the crime in April last year.

In the campaign, police nationwide apprehended 2,398 human trafficking gangs and handled 13,500 such cases, said the ministry in a statement on Sunday.

Further, the police put 15,673 suspects under criminal detention and handed out administrative penalties on 1,518 people, it said.

In addition to the tough crackdown, the police have stepped up measures to return the children who have been trafficked to their biological parents, including building a database that collects the DNA of those children who may have fallen victims to human trafficking and their parents.

The database had helped 813 children to find their biological parents through DNA matching.



Human trafficking is a serious issue throughout Asia and Southeast Asian countries, including China. Even now, China has a 2 Tier rating on the 2010 Trafficking in Person annual report, which is not a good rating. But the news report above gives me hope that the tide is turning.

The main problem with combating traffickers in Asia is the lack of enforcement. Simply reading some of the stories and research from the Somaly Mam Foundation, Free the Slaves and the International Justice Mission make this abundantly clear. There are anti-slavery and trafficking laws on the books in almost every country in the world, but it comes down to enforcing those laws and eliminating corruption.

Freeing 16,517 slaves is a BIG deal. Arresting nearly 16,000 suspects is huge in the fight against traffickers. But what happens to these suspects and the number that that are prosecuted will determine the greater long-term effect these arrests will have against traffickers.
With a major bust like this in Beijing, maybe public opinion and policy are finally starting to overcome the corruption. At least that's what I hope and pray for.


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