A man accused of using childbirth as a way to make money was sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling his five children to human traffickers in China for a total of 180,000 yuan (approximately $28,000) between 2012 and 2020.
What happened: A document by Yu County Court in Hebei Province revealed that the man, identified only by his surname Yang, had sold his two sons and three daughters to human traffickers, with selling prices ranging from 20,000 yuan (approximately $3,100) to 80,000 Chinese yuan (approximately $12,600), according to South China Morning Post.
- The court document also cited a middleman named Li and his daughter-in-law Duan. Li received a seven-year sentence while Duan will be imprisoned for 21 months for meeting with potential buyers and pretending to be the mother of two of Yang’s children.
- The court stated that Yang sold four of his five children – three daughters and a son – to Li, who reportedly received 3,600 yuan ($565) for “facilitating the transactions.”
- Yang also sold his other son to a woman his wife, Yuan, shared a maternity ward with right after she gave birth; however, SCMP stated that it is “unclear if his wife was coerced into agreeing to the trafficking, but she was not charged with any crimes,” while Insider stated they colluded.
- The Yu County Court document was first posted last month, but it only went viral on Chinese social media on Wednesday.
- “The sale of children by their guardians not only infringes the rights of minors but also supports the existence and expansion of the illegal trade,” the court said.
Other details: The number of child abduction cases in China that were reported to police has significantly decreased from 6,000 in 2012 to 666 in 2020.
- Although the Chinese government has yet to release any actual figures, the U.S. State Department estimated in 2015 that around 20,000 children in China are being abducted yearly (400 children per week), BBC reported. Meanwhile, Chinese state media have proposed that the figures could be higher at 200,000 annually, which authorities claim are inaccurate estimations.
Featured Image via Charles Eugene