China Seeks To Use DNA to Curb Child Begging and Trafficking

13/02/2012 - In order to combat child trafficking in Beijing, Chinese authorities are seeking to use DNA samples from child beggars to determine if they match any children who have been reported missing.

It is hoped that by compiling a database of child beggars by the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau, China will not only be able to more effectively combat child trafficking, but also to keep children off of the street and eradicate street begging by children by the end of 2012.

The campaign also aims to get children off of the streets and into school. After children are helped to leave the streets, their DNA information will be gathered and hopefully efforts would be made to track down their parents.

A child's DNA information will then be put into a "DNA information bank" dedicated to matching the DNA of trafficked children with that of their parents. Matches will only be possible in the event that parents of missing children had previously registered a DNA sample with their local public security department.

If there are any matches, the children will be hopefully be reunited with their families.

By September 2011, around 1,400 missing children had been reunited with their parents through the bank.

According to humantrafficking.org, China is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking; the majority of which is internal trafficking.

Most of the internal trafficking of children tends to be for sexual and labor exploitation. There are estimates on the number of victims range from 10,000 to 20,000 each year. International organizations report that 90 percent of internal trafficking victims are women and children, trafficked primarily from Anhui, Henan, Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou Provinces to prosperous provinces along the east coast.

It was reportedly widely in December 2011, that Chinese police busted two child-trafficking rings after a six-month nationwide investigation, rescuing 178 children and arresting 608 suspects involved.

Officials placed rescued children in local orphanages while they tried to reunite them with their families.

Regarding the arrests, Chinese authorities stated that they "will strictly adhere to our policy of 'zero tolerance' on child-trafficking."

"This policy is aimed at cracking down on the buyers' market," said Chen Shiqu, Director of the anti-human trafficking department at the Ministry of Public Security.

"We will ensure the buyers lose both their money and the purchased children, so that we can address the problem from the source by reducing the demand for kidnapped and trafficked children."