Sometimes the world is really a despicable place. A grandmother in Guangxi watched recently as a kidnapper entered the room and snatched up her 1-year-old grandson, Xiaoyu.
According to NetEase, on May 18th at around 9 p.m., two strangers stopped by the family’s home, asking Xiaoyu’s father to help guide them to the neighboring village for 50 yuan. That left Xiaoyu, his mom, grandmother and older brother home alone. Just as Xiaoyu’s grandmom was trying to get him to go to sleep, a guy in his fifties came in and took the boy away. The grandmother says she thought that he was an acquaintance of the family, so she didn’t try to stop him.
When Xiaoyu’s father returned, he found out that his son had disappeared, abducted by child traffickers. The anxious family quickly called the police for help.
Police from different districts in Guangxi worked together and were able to locate and rescue Xiaoyu the next morning. They arrested four child traffickers who conspired to steal Xiaoyu from his home.
Fortunately, Xiaoyu was able to be reunited with his family. But many children like him are not so lucky. Child trafficking is still rampant in rural China. Boys are often abducted by gangs and then sold for a high price to couples desperate for a male heir. While occasionally parents are reunited with their long lost children, more often they can only search in vain for years.
In recent years, police have cracked down on the gangs. Last January, Shandong police rescued a total of 37 infants in a single bust. China now has a national anti-kiddnapping taskforce that carries out high-profile raids that sometimes liberate hundreds of kidnapped children. Yet, many Chinese believe that not enough is being done to stop abductions and punish kidnappers.
“I have no words, death penalty for child traffickers!” one netizen commented.
“Please like my comment if you agree that these criminals should be shot!” another netizen responded.
Last year, an appeal to institute the death penalty against all those convicted of child trafficking gained a significant following online. Currently China only sentences human traffickers to death in severe cases—including those who organized large-scale child trafficking gangs or used violence to abduct children. Child traffickers are generally given five to 10 years in prison depending on the nature of their crimes.
The exact scale of child trafficking is hard to know since official data is difficult to come by. CCTV reports that 7,700 human trafficking cases were reported in China from 2010 to 2014 with more than 12,900 traffickers and buyers punished. The number of cases has been decreasing since 2013.
By Sophie Wang
[Images via NetEase]