“ There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” (Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela)
Once I decided to choose the topic of “trafficking children,” I started to search for some statistics about the issue. The more I researched, the more I could not help but get shocked.
In China, around 70,000 children are being trafficked yearly for illegal adoption, forced labour and other reasons. China, now, is becoming the biggest market for trafficking children in the world. In contrast, only about 100 children are trafficked in the USA every year.
Some youngsters are lucky enough to be saved, yet less than one-tenth of them are ever able to return to their parents. According to other striking statistics, there are 200,000 missing children worldwide, while just 0.1% of them are lucky enough to be found in the end. Surprisingly, half of the criminals are parents or relatives, and the main reasons for trafficking their offspring are for money or considering sons more advantageous than daughters.
As early as the 1980s, human trafficking was emerging prominently, and most of the targets were children. Although this topic is not breaking news anymore, many nonnatives have no idea about it, nor the Chinese. Alternatively, they have heard something about it but never imagined that trafficking children would take place on such large-scale.
In China, kidnapped children are not for ransoming but selling. Sadly, concerned families who lose their children are often from remote villages seldom having the money or means to find their loved ones. Consequently, looking for their missing children makes them even poorer. Some missing children are illegally sold to foster parents who cannot give birth but still want to carry on their family line. Others are sold to become slave labourers or involuntarily forced into prostitution. Others are even cruelly injured or disabled so that they can beg for money!
When we come into this world, we are equal, but life inevitably brings about inequality in one form or another. You may be in a position to enjoy a peaceful life as you read this article, but some children who are the same age as you, your brother or sister or are the same age as your kids are suffering a hard life.
Written by Valentina Tu