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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 February, 2005, 10:29 GMT
China stops baby trafficking ring
By Louisa Lim
BBC News, Beijing

A child in a cardboard box in Beijing
There is a thriving black market in babies in China
Chinese police have broken up a baby trafficking ring based in the province of Fujian, state media have said.

More than 100 people were involved in the ring, which had been selling Chinese and Burmese babies for the past 10 years, the Beijing News reported.

Police said the network included midwives and hospital workers, and had sold more than 70 new-born babies, of which 44 have now been recovered.

China's one-child policy has spawned a black-market trade in human lives.

Couples desperate for sons sometimes abandon girl babies so they can try again for a boy, while others go to the extreme of buying a son.

This latest report hints at the scale and sophistication of baby trafficking rings operating in China today.

The Beijing News said the newborn babies were transported around the country by breastfeeding women, in order to avoid raising suspicion.

Seven of the children were Burmese, the rest Chinese.

The report says some of the babies had been abandoned by their parents, but increasing numbers of children are also being abducted - particularly from migrant worker families who cannot afford childcare.

In 29 of the 44 cases where babies have been recovered by police, their real parents have already been located.

On the trail of a trafficked child
16 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
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10 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China holds 110 'baby smugglers'
07 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China executes baby smuggler
24 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China acts to protect baby girls
15 Jul 04 |  Asia-Pacific


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