Wed, Sep 22, 2010 - Page 4 News List

Widening gender gap fuels human trafficking: report

AFP , BEIJING

Police in China have freed more than 10,000 abducted women, including almost 1,100 foreigners, since April last year as the widening gender gap fuels bride trafficking and prostitution, state media said yesterday.

“In recent years, human trafficking has become more complicated, international and professional — it is a new challenge for police,” the Global Times quoted Chen Shiqu, head of anti-trafficking at the Ministry of Public Security, as saying.

According to the paper, China’s male-to-female ratio in 2005 was 120 men to every 100 women. The gender gap has created a situation where there are not enough women of marrying-age for China’s single men, the paper said.

During an ongoing crackdown on human trafficking that began in April last year, Chinese police have so far freed 10,621 kidnapped women and 5,896 kidnapped children, the report said.

Among the women freed were 1,099 foreigners, mostly from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Mongolia, who were sold as brides to Chinese men or forced to work as prostitutes, the paper said.

The gender gap has long been attributed to China’s “one child” family planning policy.

“The traditional preference for boys and a shortage of women fueled the abductions,” the paper quoted Li Hongtao, a professor at China Women’s University, as saying.

“Children are sold to childless couples and women are sold to some families who want to find wives for their sons,” Li said.

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