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article imageChinese doctor admits to trafficking in newborns

By Karen Graham     Dec 31, 2013 in Crime
China has recently relaxed its one-child per family rule in an effort to cut down on the number of children being trafficked illegally. The one-child rule and the favoring of male infants has led to an increase in the selling of baby girls and women.
A soon-to-retire obstetrician, Zhang Shuxia, working at the northern Shaanxi province's Fuping County Maternal and Child Hospital, has admitted to trafficking in newborn children. She reportedly told authorities she stole the babies and sold them to human traffickers.
According to court sources, Zhang stood trial on Monday in Fuping County. Zhang told parents their babies were born with congenital problems, and was able to talk them into signing papers giving their children away.
Calls made to the local Communist Party propaganda department and the Weinan Intermediate People's Court to verify the news went unanswered. Child trafficking in China has grown to be a big problem in recent years, even with the penalties being severe, often including the death penalty.
Officials blame the trafficking on the one-child rule, and the preference of families wanting a male heir, a tradition going back many generations. There is also a disproportionate number of men to women now, because of the law, and this is the reason for the large number of women being illegally trafficked.
Court postings show Zhang's indictment covered November 2011 to July 2013, in which she allegedly sold seven babies to middlemen, who then sold the babies to couples in central and eastern China. Six of the children were rescued, and one baby trafficked for 1,000 yuan ($165) in April later died.
Zhang's dealings were found out when a woman suspected that her baby had been stolen and reported it to the local police in July. The official Xinhua News Agency reported the doctor took the woman's baby home with her and later sold the child to a middleman in a neighboring province for $3,600 the very same night. The middleman then sold the baby to a villager in central China for $9,900.
The Beijing Times is calling for a "fair punishment" for Zhang, and to deter other doctors. The country has been dealing with public frustration for some time over ongoing and rampant bribery and other abuses by many in the medical profession. The paper said: "It will inject the authoritativeness of law into professional ethics of doctors and will warn doctors not to take the wrong step that brings them lifelong regret."
To show the extent of the trafficking problem, in September, 2011, Reuters reported that 89 infants were rescued from being sold. Additionally, 369 people allegedly connected to a human trafficking ring were arrested. In this case, the traffickers were Vietnamese, and the children were from Vietnam. The children were to be sold in China's southern regions of Guangdong and Guangxi.
The number of children being trafficked is astounding, and according to Reuters, reports from China's human trafficking special task force, formed in February, show that since 2009, until 2011, 39,194 cases of human trafficking have been reported, mostly children and woman.
More about China, Doctor, Newborns, congenital problems, Child trafficking
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