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Li urges stronger action on abductions

By Xu Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-30 06:56
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A man named only as Xiaojie (second right) is reunited with his parents in Shenyang, Liaoning province, in June last year, 26 years after being abducted at age 7 in his hometown of Guiyang, Guizhou province. LI HAO/FOR CHINA DAILY

He says human trafficking is outrageous and offenders must be brought to justice

Premier Li Keqiang called on Tuesday for thorough investigation of cases involving the abduction of women and children and urged timely measures to enable their rescue, rehabilitation and return to their families.

In an instruction issued to a national teleconference of the State Council, China's Cabinet, on cracking down on human trafficking, Li highlighted the need to offer more care to the victims of human trafficking and better protect their privacy.

Li said in the instruction that human trafficking is an outrageous act, and such offenders must be brought to justice.

He called for different departments to bolster their coordination and assume full responsibility, saying that those who treat public interest issues with indifference must be held accountable.

The premier highlighted the need to refine the mechanism used to fight human trafficking, saying that crackdowns and preventive measures must be coordinated to protect the rights of women and children and uphold social justice.

Zhao Kezhi, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security, said at the teleconference that human trafficking cases must be investigated more stringently and offenders brought to justice as quickly as possible.

It is important to build a community-based work system and crime prevention network in fighting such offenses, and relevant laws, regulations and policies need to be further refined, he said.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, by the end of last year, 10,932 missing and abducted children had been found in China, thanks to a system known as Reunion, which was launched in May 2016.

The interministerial joint conference came after a high-profile case in Fengxian county, Jiangsu province, came to light. A video of a middle-aged woman being confined in a brick shack went viral on social media in late January, triggering widespread public outrage.

An official investigation found Xiaohuamei, a mother of eight children and later diagnosed with mental illnesses, had been the victim of human trafficking in the late 1990s.

The police later detained the women's husband for illegal detention and a couple for human trafficking. Another 17 officials in the county were punished for wrongdoing, including dereliction of duty, in connection with the case.

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