[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
China holds 110 'baby smugglers'
A child in a cardboard box in Beijing
There is a thriving black market in babies in China
Chinese police say they have rescued 53 baby boys who were in line to be sold by a trafficking ring.

The operation also led to the arrest of 110 people, including the alleged ringleader of the gang, police say.

The suspects are accused of buying the boys and then selling them on at a profit of thousands of dollars.

Correspondents say the trade in children has been fuelled by China's family planning laws, which limit couples to one child.

The arrests took place in Fujian province in south-eastern China, where it is thought the boys were to be sold for up to 18,000 yuan ($1,800).

The infants were allegedly bought in south-western Yunnan province, for between 2,000 and 4,000 yuan.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua said police from the two provinces acted together over six months to crack the elaborate ring set up to transport the infants to Fujian.

Family planning laws

There is a thriving black market in babies in China.

Because of rules limiting each family to only one child, couples sometimes sell younger siblings on.

Poor families sometimes sell baby girls, so they can try again for a boy. Boys are traditionally valued higher than girls.

Poverty-stricken Yunnan province is one of the worst areas for human trafficking.

Police say they have arrested more than 6,000 suspects there since 2000, alleged to be responsible for kidnapping 3,956 women and 839 children.

Women are often promised jobs elsewhere, but are sold into marriage or prostitution.

Two human traffickers were sentenced to death earlier this month for selling 74 women and 22 children.




SEE ALSO:
US homes for China's abandoned babies
07 Oct 04  |  From Our Own Correspondent
China executes baby smuggler
24 Sep 04  |  Asia-Pacific
China acts to protect baby girls
15 Jul 04  |  Asia-Pacific
China fears bachelor future
05 Apr 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Sars ban stops couple's adoption
17 May 03  |  Oxfordshire


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific