Make Sure Child Trafficking Cases in China are Investigated


Target: Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China

Goal: Stop corrupt Chinese officials from overlooking child trafficking cases

In China, corrupt officials are deliberately ignoring cases of child trade. As a result, children who have been stolen and sold to another family are not returned to their parents. According to Charles Custer, the director of a documentary about Chinese child trafficking, about 20,000 -40,000 children are stolen and sold in China in every year. Authorities do not always interfere with these sales; they are often complicit as they are too happy to profit from the fees required to register new names for the children. Even when they are directly confronted by a child who reports his abduction, they do not help. A young man who was kidnapped and sold into slave labor in a brickmaking kiln turned to a government official to share his story after escaping. Instead of assisting in his return to his biological family, the official decided to earn some money for himself by selling the young man to another kiln.

While it is understandable that many childless families want to adopt children, it is tragic that these adoptions happen at the expense of parents who must one day live the shock of having their child, often a recently-born baby, suddenly spirited away from them to never be returned. Child trafficking is a lucrative trade due to the limitations of the Chinese one-child policy. A family permitted to only have one child is often disappointed that the mother gave birth to a girl and not a boy. The large number of couples looking to adopt boys has given rise to a myriad of underground child trade businesses with complex distribution structures involving middlemen.

Passed from one hand to another and successively sold to multiple participants in a distribution chain until it arrives at his or her new home, the child ends up very far away from his birthplace. With multiple actors involved in effectuating the transfer of the child across what could be a very long distance, it becomes rather difficult for the police to track the transaction and recover the missing child.

That is why it is all the more important to make sure that the authorities do not decide to look away and ignore these cases. The Chinese government can make a difference. It must root out corruption within the government administration and make sure that officials do not get involved in registering new names for stolen children or ignore complaints that offer clues that would help solve the crimes. A family’s grief at losing their child is often inconsolable; it is unconscionable for officials to choose not to act on information that could return missing children to their disconsolate parents.

Sign this petition to ask the Chinese government to eliminate corruption in the ranks of its authorities so that its officials never ignore and always fully pursue criminals implicated in child trafficking.

Dear Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China

The rather alarming frequency with which the abduction and sales of children occur in China makes this crime too costly to ignore. While it is hard to crack down on every individual involved in child trafficking, there is no excuse for the  government to tolerate authorities who choose to turn a blind eye to evidence of sales of abducted children.

The Chinese state should change its culture of government administration to make sure that officials always take child trafficking seriously and never ever refuse to pursue cases just to make some extra money on the side. The devastated parents of abducted children deserve to know that their state bureaucracy is on their side and not on the side of the child traffickers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Shards of China Blog

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