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Laws Regarding Trafficking of Women and Children in China

December 16, 2010 · 

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Published in Child Workers of Asia
(April – September 1999)

With regards to China, legal measures emanate from the 1991 decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress which called for action to criminalise the following: abduction for sale of women and children; kidnap of women and children, kidnap for purposes of blackmail; purchase of abducted and kidnapped women and children; abuse of office to hinder the rescue of abducted and kidnapped women and children. This led to the adoption of a Criminal Law, Article 141 of which provided for sentences against human trafficking. The sentences were increased by the new Criminal Law of 1997 which incriminates the abduction, purchase, sale and delivery of women and children.

There are other laws which target specifically the protection of women and children from abuse. For instance, the 1992 Law of the Protection of Women’s Rights prohibits the abduction, trafficking and purchase of women. China’s 1991 Protection of Minors Act obliges parents to stop children from engaging in prostitution. China’s 1991 Adoption Act forbids the sale of children for adoptions. These were bolstered by the 1994 ministerial notice against illegal immigration for pornographic purposes and the 1996 ministerial notice to screen Chinese children being adopted abroad.

Other laws may contribute to preventing the trap of trafficking. These ‘mclude various education laws and laws to promote livelihood. For example, in 1986 Ci@na passed a law on compulsory education (9 years) which should help to keep children out of the labor market. In 1991 regulations on child labor were issued prohibiting use of child laborers under 16 years of age.

On the policy front, in 1992 China’s State Council issued its Program Outline for the Development of China’s Children in the 1990s. These are coupled with the National Program of Action for Goals by the Year 2000 in regard to children, under which there are also measures to protect children against parental abuse and child labor.

Source: The Trafficking in Women and Children in the Mekong Sub-region by Vitit Muntarbhorn

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