Former lieutenant colonel of the Chinese Navy Command, Yao Cheng, joined a public service organization in 2010 to defend the rights of trafficked women and minors.
During the time, they had witnessed many harrowing stories relating to the treatment of victims in Xuzhou city of the coastal Jiangsu province in China.
Speaking with Xin Tang Ren News, Yao recalled a woman whose parents decided to abandon her just seven days after her birth. A family had bought her over, and she was subjected to constant abuse from the three brothers in that family. She was pregnant with her second son at 12 and attempted to run away as she could not stand the men.
The young girl was later taken back. The family decided they would no longer need her and sold her to another person for 2,000 yuan, or US$314.4. She was still beaten as they sold her.
Yao said the buyer took her as soon as she gave birth to the baby. She was married to the grandson of that man. However, her new husband was more into meeting up with other women. He poisoned his wife and dumped her dead body on the beach.
Chinese state media People’s Daily reported that there are about 200,000 missing children in China every year, and the recovery rate is only about 0.1%. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security later denied the figure.
Former lieutenant Yao Cheng pointed out that many missing persons can be traded and settled in new profiles easily, with the participation of the police behind the scenes.
He explained that as the buyer bought a child, that person would spend money to have the police authorize the household registration for the victim, who would have been listed as a missing person. That was why law enforcement might be reluctant to look for missing people. It was because they had taken the money.
Yao said minors were often sold to sex establishments. More tragically, they could even be sold for their organs. He said there had been evidence, but the police did not file any case. This raised the question if they had been involved in the foul industrial chain.
Because of Beijing’s previous implementation of the one-child policy and parts of China were heavy “preference of sons to daughters,” a large number of girls were aborted or abandoned. This had resulted in gender imbalance and was evidently reflected in poor and remote areas, where male residents struggle to find a bride. Sequentially, human trafficking became more active.