Opinion / Zhu Ping

Stop the sale of one's own children with clearer laws

By Zhu Ping ( Updated: 2015-01-13 16:43

Stop the sale of one's own children with clearer laws

A doctor examines a baby who was rescued in a raid on child traffickers in east China's Shandong province.[Photo/] 

"The cruel tigers don't eat their own kids" - this Chinese old saying can't explain the twisted parenting in the newly exposed child trafficking case in Shandong province.

The human trafficking suspects brought some pregnant women across the country to illegal delivery rooms in Jining city of Shandong province, and sold the babies as if they were products, for about 50,000 to 60,000 yuan each after they were born. The suspects also bought newborn babies from Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. In the trafficking chain, 103 suspects were detained, and 37 babies were saved. Unfortunately, many of the babies were discovered to have been ill-treated and some of them were infected with AIDS. According to CCTV reports, the babies will have little chance to reunite with their families since they were sold by their biological parents.

Unfortunately, this shocking case is not the only one, as, similar cases have been exposed in Zhejiang, Fujian and Heilongjiang provinces. Child trafficking highlights the state of emergency that requires a clear answer to the long-time debate on how to deal with cases when parents sell their own kids.

As the nation is advancing the rule of law, such cases reflect a miserable sense of what the law is among some poorly-educated people in poverty. In some exposed cases, some parents took it for granted that their own children should be at their disposal. Although in many cases poverty should take the blame that drives parents to sell their children cold-bloodedly, a growing number of parents just tried to make quick money by making this a business.

The existing laws and regulations don't clarify whether it's a crime for parents to sell their own children. According to the Criminal Law, it only constitutes a crime of abandonment, but not necessarily human trafficking, when parents sell their own children. Those who have to "sell" their own children will not get punished.

What's worse, the line between adoption and the purchase of children is blurred in many parts of China. Thought it isn't in accord with legal norms, the practice of adoption takes place directly between biological and adoptive parents, rather than through civil authorities. And some of the biological parents get a small amount of money, such as from several thousand to tens of thousands of yuan, as compensation. Such practices are hardly defined as crimes according to existing laws.

Hence it's high time for the legislature to make more detailed laws and explanations on what terms constitute a trafficking crime when it comes to biological parents selling their children. Or else such ugly trend can hardly be stopped.

Most Viewed Today's Top News