April 14, 2011
The Ministry of Public Security is carrying out a six-month inquiry to learn who certain children with obscure identities are and will hold the leaders of the local police departments accountable if child abductions occur, the ministry said on Tuesday.
As part of a six-month campaign that began that day, local police will conduct DNA tests on children who have unknown identities and, to learn whether they have been abducted, compare the results with information contained in a national anti-trafficking DNA database, said Vice-Minister Zhang Xinfeng in a video conference on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, he called on leaders at local police bureaus and other officials to take charge of the abduction cases in person and to supervise them “from beginning to end.” Such officials should investigate the cases, search for and rescue abducted children and offer comfort to the children’s families, he said.
“The police’s efforts will not let up until all abduction cases are solved,” Zhang said.
In 2009, the ministry set up a national DNA database meant to aid in the rescue of abducted children. In it are collected blood samples from children with obscure identities and from parents whose children are missing.
The database allows results from blood tests to be automatically compared with information from the previously gathered samples, often making it possible to know who a missing child’s biological parents are. The database now contains more than 20,000 blood samples, which have helped to confirm the identities of 1,040 children, according to figures released by the ministry.
“Once we receive an abduction report, we will immediately search for the missing child,” Zhang said. “As long as the case isn’t solved, we won’t give up investigating and looking for the victim.”
In many parts of rural China, such as Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, couples with no children tend to “buy” and adopt abducted boys, largely because they still believe in the importance of “carrying on the family line” and having “sons to support one in one’s old age”, Chen Shiqu, head of the ministry’s office for the crackdown on child abductions told China Daily in a previous interview.
“In some remote villages, people even consider human trafficking as a good thing because they believe traffickers will help them fulfill their dreams of raising a child,” he said.
“Trafficking not only violates the victims’ human rights, but can easily cause great panics. It causes no less harm than murder cases.”