Many trafficked adults are duped into slavery. In America, a
Chinese are thought to have been smuggled into the country where they work
impossibly long hours as indentured servants to pay off a transportation debt
of sometimes $50,000. Women are often sold into marriage or the sex trade both
locally and abroad. Given the promise of a job in the city, they arrive to find
that they will not, in fact, be working as waitresses or sales clerks but as
prostitutes. With no money, they have no option but to stay put and stay
Abducted children are forced into labor, sexual slavery, crime rings, and adopted by families who often have no idea that the children are kidnapped. Often these kidnapped children (who are primarily boys) are taken from migrant families who work long hours and are unaware that their children are targets. Traffickers can get $3-4,000 for each child. This New York Times video further explains the issue: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/04/04/world/1194839161724/chinas-kidnapped-children.html
Human trafficking in China is not merely transportation of
Chinese people but also people from other countries, in particular North Korea.
Earlier this year two reporters, Laura
Ling and Euna Lee, were arrested when they illegally crossed the
China-North Korea border while researching the plight of North Korean refugees,
many of whom are women and children who have been trafficked to China where
they are bought by Chinese men and/or forced to work as indentured servants.
In recent years authorities have uncovered numerous
trafficking rings and punished offenders severely, but this year China is
stepping up their efforts to end the illegal kidnapping of women and children
with a new initiative announced by the Ministry of Public Safety (MPS) in
April. This new crackdown is in response to rising human trafficking
numbers and will go through the end of the year. Police have been instructed to
be on the alert for suspicious situations involving women and children and will
pay special attention to begging rings and gangs who frequently use abducted
One very promising aspect of this plan is an educational push to educate migrant workers on the dangers their children face. MPS will offer free lessons to migrant workers that will teach them how to keep their children safe. China Daily reports that the program will begin in two towns—Kunming, Yunnan and Dongguan, Guanddong—and, if successful, it will be introduced across China. Both the National Federation of Women and Children (NFWC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will work with the government to conduct these lessons. Not only migrant workers but other parts of the community are being asked to get involved. Because migrants tend to move from job to job, landlords and factory bosses are helping inform workers in their sphere about the classes. One landlord told China Daily, "A missing child is a tragedy for any family, so I have the social responsibility to do a favor for my tenants if they are unaware about children's safety.”
MPS is also coordinating the countries 236 DNA labs to form a database so that, when children are found, their DNA can be matched with that by families members who have reported them missing. This database could do a lot to reunite abducted children with their families who may be thousands of miles apart.
So far, the initiative seems to have made a considerable dent in the country’s trafficking issues. MPS reported that 1,352 children and 2,054 had been rescued since August 3. The government has announced that it will cooperate with Taiwan to stop the movement of trafficked people across borders. We hope that, as the government continues to eradicate human trafficking, they increasingly educate and include the community so that China’s women and children will be never need to be rescued.