Human trafficking measures announced
Senior public security officials have called for the fight against the trafficking of women and children to be intensified in Southwest China's Yunnan Province.
The Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Public Security Vice-Director Xian Yanming warned that, although measures had been taken by the local authorities, a large number of abductions had recently taken place in the province.
A total of 85 women and children had been rescued from traffickers between April and July of this year.
Police had cracked 2,646 cases involving the abduction of women and children since the beginning of 2000, and had saved 4,795 people involving 3,956 women and 839 children.
All of the women and children were abducted by traffickers from Yunnan to other provinces, such as South China's Guangdong and Central China's Henan.
A total of 6,169 suspects involved in these cases have been detained by the police.
As a remote and agricultural province with vast mountainous areas, Yunnan is economically and socially underdeveloped compared with other regions in southern and eastern China.
Over the past 20 years, these traffickers in the province have lured women and children from poverty-stricken areas with empty promises of wealth, employment and a better standard of living.
But sometimes their tactics were less subtle, such as directly buying women and children.
The trafficked women are usually sold to men in areas such as Henan Province, where there is a gender imbalance and many men find it difficult to find a wife.
In recent years, the police in Yunnan have launched annual campaigns to deal with this crime, Xian said.
However, the cost of tackling such cases also is quite high and rising.
Xian said people who take part in this trade as "purchasers" of people should also be harshly punished, pointing out that they are currently treated very leniently.