IMAGE: Huffington Post
SHAANXI, China -- A Chinese doctor was sentenced to death on January 14 for selling seven newborns to child traffickers. The death sentence came with a reprieve, which reduces the punishment to life imprisonment if the convicted person does not commit further crimes during a two-year grace period.
Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician in China’s Shaanxi Province, deceived parents into believing that their children had congenital problems and were unlikely to survive. The parents would then sign a consent form to give up their newborns, who would eventually become victims in one of the world’s largest trafficking industries.
In July 2013, a suspicious mother was able to uncover Zhang’s devious scheme and reclaim her lost son. Traffickers bought the child from Zhang for 21,600 yuan ($3,600) and resold him to a neighboring province for 59,800 yuan ($9,900). The case prompted a number of parents with similar experiences to level accusations against Zhang, who later admitted trafficking seven babies between November 2011 and July 2013.
Police have rescued six of the seven babies, while one who was sold for a mere $1,000 yuan ($165) died soon after it was found.
Each year, China’s One-Child Policy fuels a burgeoning market of more than 70,000 trafficked children. Traffickers often sell their victims to couples who either desire to have a son of their own, or want a child-bride for their existing son. In 2013, the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report placed China on the worst possible ranking of Tier 3, along with nations such as Russia, Algeria, and Iran. The report states:
“The Government of the People’s Republic of China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking…Despite [some] modest signs of interest in anti-trafficking reforms, the Chinese government did not demonstrate significant efforts to comprehensively prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking and to prosecute traffickers.”
In fact, these “traffickers” are not always duplicitous criminals like Zhang. Parents who have violated the One-Child Policy would sometimes sell off their own children in order to avoid the associated fines. Last summer, Chinese police rescued ten babies in an anti-trafficking operation, but the babies’ parents, in fear of being penalized for having more than one child, refused to take them back. In the end, the police had to return the babies to the families who bought them.
Chai Ling, Founder of All Girls Allowed—In Jesus’ Name, Simply Love Her, said, “We are deeply saddened by the doctor’s heartless crime, the sentence that she received, and the fact that birth parents are abandoning their own children under China’s One-Child Policy—a policy that has claimed the lives of 400 million babies over the past 33 years. But we have hope. The Lord has promised us: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26) Heavenly Father, we now repent our sins and our countrymen’s sins, and we invite you to turn all our hearts from stone to flesh. Amen!”
All Girls Allowed (http://www.allgirlsallowed.org) was founded by Chai Ling in 2010 with a mission to display the love of Jesus by restoring life, value and dignity to girls and mothers in China and revealing the injustice of the One-Child Policy. “In Jesus’ Name, Simply Love Her.”