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Chinese authorities bust trafficking rings; free 181 children

By the CNN Wire Staff
July 6, 2012 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chinese authorities break up two major child trafficking operations this week
  • They arrest 802 people and free 181 children
  • A "Class A fugitive" accused of trafficking some 100 children is among those arrested

Beijing (CNN) -- Chinese authorities broke up two major child trafficking operations this week, arresting 802 people and freeing 181 children, officials said Friday.

The raids took place Monday evening, involved over 10,000 police officers and were coordinated in 15 provinces, including Hebei, Shandong, Sichuan, Fujian, Henan and Yunnan, according to a statement from the country's Public Security Ministry.

A "Class A fugitive" accused of trafficking some 100 children was among those arrested, it said.

Child trafficking remains a prominent problem in China, the ministry reported, with critics often pointing to the nation's adoption laws and its one-child policy as contributing factors.

"These policies contribute to an increasing gender-imbalance (118.08 males for every 100 females according to the 2010 census), which in turn fuels trafficking and prostitution," Human Rights Watch said in a 2012 report.

Chinese officials have pledged a "zero tolerance" policy in dealing with traffickers.

CNN's Steven Jiang contributed to this report

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