China Frees 24,000 Abducted Women & Children

Chinese police rescued more than 24,000 abducted children and women last year, some of whom had been sold for adoption or forced into prostitution as far away as Angola, officials reported. Trafficking of women and children is a serious problem in China — blamed in part on the strict “one-child” policy, which has put a premium on baby boys — and activists say the cases uncovered by police are just the tip of the iceberg.

The Ministry of Public Security said in a report posted on its website that police across the country had rescued 8,660 children and 15,458 women in 2011 — all victims of trafficking. The ministry added that authorities had cracked nearly 3,200 trafficking gangs last year, including a ring that sent Chinese women to Angola and forced them into prostitution. Nearly 11,300 people accused of trafficking were punished from 2008 to 2011 and the number of traffickers has shrunk, the official Xinhua news agency said.

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