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Over 300 suspects were detained in latest operation by Chinese authorities to crack down on chronic problem of child trafficking linked to the country's one-child policy.
28 Sep 2013
Police forces from 11 provinces were involved in the operation to break up a massive network that stole, bought and sold children in Henan province in central China and other provinces.
Revealing one of the biggest busts of its kind in years, officials said on Saturday that the group had targeted children in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in China's southwest and transported them to other provinces for sale.
The exact date of the police operation, which was the result of a six-month investigation, is not known.
Child abduction is a major problem in China, where such police operations have become regular occurrences as authorities crack down on child trafficking.
Strict family planning laws, a traditional preference for boys, ignorance of the law, poverty and illicit profits drive a thriving market in babies and children.
State media did not give a breakdown of how many boys and how many girls were kidnapped, but kidnapped women are frequently sold to men in remote areas who are unable to find brides due to a sex imbalance resulting from the draconian one-child policy, which has also encouraged sex-selective abortions.
China also plans to introduce laws to punish buyers of children and parents selling their own children.
China has trumpeted the success of an intensified crackdown on the kidnapping and sale of children and women recently. In 2011, police said they had rescued more than 13,000 abducted children and 23,000 women over the past two years or so.
A U.N. committee is scheduled to issue on Oct. 4 its findings on China's implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Beijing ratified in 1992.