120,000 Chinese Women, Kids Freed
Sep. 16, 2000
BEIJING (AP) _ Chinese police freed 110,000 women and 13,000 children in a six-month crackdown on human trafficking gangs, the state-run China Daily reported Saturday.
The Public Security Ministry, the nationwide police force, released the figures at a ceremony commending 65 local police departments.
The police force in Zunyi city was commended for breaking up a gang that had abducted 84 women and children and sexually abused them, China Daily said.
The report gave no breakdown of where the women and children were freed.
Free-market reforms and a loosening of social controls in China have revived a centuries-old trade in people. Women are usually sold into prostitution, while children are often bought by childless couples, especially in the countryside.
The crackdown, which began in April, made use of high technology, a rarity in Chinese police work. Police compiled a national database on abduction rings and missing women and children. They also took DNA samples from parents to help identify their children, some of whom had been missing for years.