Friday, May 01, 2009


China is setting up a DNA database to help trace missing children, as the authorities struggle to tackle people trafficking.
By the end of the month, a network of more than 200 DNA centres is due to be set up.
Thousands of children in China are stolen or sold each year.
Correspondents say the children of migrant workers are usually targeted. They are traded for a few hundred dollars and few are ever found.
By the end of May, a network of 236 DNA labs across the country will be built and start operation, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
Parents who've lost their children have long been calling for the government to do more, according to the BBC correspondent in Beijing, Quentin Sommerville.
Child trafficking is seen as a growing problem in China, despite government attempts to crack down on it.
In a society that favours male heirs, it is often boys who are taken.
The problem is exacerbated by strict birth control policies, which limit many couples to only one child.
Families may also buy trafficked women and children to use as extra labour and household servants.
There have been several high profile cases of abducted children being rescued from mines and brick kilns - prompting a Chinese government campaign against slavery.
Officially 3,000 children and women go missing in China every year, although campaign groups say the true figure may run into tens of thousands.



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