Since 2001, almost 200 children, mainly boys aged between one and six years old, have gone missing in Kunming City. Incidences of child trafficking and selling have occurred at Kunming City’s Guandu and Xishan areas. The rate of disappearances is also on the rise. In 2001 23 children who went missing. This rose to 30 the following year and 67 last year. As of April 3 this year 21 children have been reported missing.
Xinhua website reports that parents with missing children have put up many posters to help the search, but their efforts are often fruitless. Many parents of these children have recently banded together to help search for their missing loved ones. Yet the longer the children are gone, the less hope there is they will return.
Frequent Missing Children Incidents Occurring
According to the report, 5-year-old Zhang Xin went missing near a clothes market on July 19, 2003. Four-year-old Chen Junkuan went missing when he was playing at home by himself on December 18, 2003. Six-year-old Li Sheng disappeared from outside of his house on March 14, 2003. These children all lived in the village of Kunming City, Guandu District, Chengxiang Region. Their parents are all peasants who work in Kunming City.
Wang Guoling, the only son of Wang Zongshang and Li Yuncui, was playing by himself in front of the family-owned shop on April 1, 2004. The couple’s attention was diverted for only a few minutes; then they discovered that he had been abducted.
Some mothers left the house to buy food and returned within half an hour to find that their house gate had been pried open and the child, who has having an afternoon nap, was missing.
Since 2002, there have been at least 11 cases of missing children at Hufu Village. There are 5,600 local residents living at Guandu Region of Hufu Village, but non-native residents number as many as 1 million people. Most non-native residents have no stable occupations. Men generally do building work, drive three-wheel bicycles or drive motorcycles to carry passengers. Women generally run a small business such as selling vegetables and fruits.
The village Joint Defence Team members all put greater stress on their work now in watching over villagers. Greater numbers of non-native people make it difficult for the Team to manage to do its job well, and local police can often uncover criminal activities such as fighting, drug dealing and selling of people.
According to Kunming City Sub-group leader, Ma Ning, “There are many people engaged in the trafficking of human beings in the Shaotong, Huize and Xuanwei regions of Yunnan Province. It is possible they hide among those who come from other provinces, so they can act almost anonymously.”
The non-native population of Kunming City is basically a collection of disordered migrants. No government departments have ever tried to determine who is doing what, where they are from and where they live.
According to some reports, Jinjiang City Public Security Bureau local police arrested four people at Chendai Town, suspected of crimes including trafficking baby boys only few months old. Each child can be sold from 17,000 yuan to 23,000 yuan (US$2060-2780). Some children are sold for up to 11 times these amounts. Kunming City Public Security Bureau recently uncovered four criminal groups suspected of trafficking in children criminal groups, arresting 47 people in the process and rescuing 63 missing children.