Wednesday, December 7, 2011

China children rescued in swoop on traffickers

Police in China say they have rescued nearly 200 children after uncovering two child-trafficking gangs.

More than 600 people were arrested in raids in 10 Chinese provinces.

A BBC correspondent in Beijing says the staggering numbers in the investigation reveal the scale of the country's child-trafficking problem.

Critics blame China's one-child policy and lax adoption laws, which they say have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

Thousands missing:

The Ministry of Public Security said 178 children had been rescued in the joint investigation. It did not give their ages and said they were being cared for while officials sought to trace their parents.

The ministry described the crackdown as "one of the biggest victories for anti-trafficking".

A statement said 5,000 police had co-operated for six months before arresting suspects last week.

"Police departments will continue to crack down on child trafficking and ensure that involved children are kept out of the reach of buyers," the statement said.