Parents march over missing children | Shanghai Daily

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Parents march over missing children

CARRYING banners and posters, a group of parents marched through a Guangdong Province city yesterday in a public demonstration asking for help in finding their missing children.

The parents say about 1,000 children, mostly boys, have gone missing in Dongguan City in the past two years, most kidnapped by human traffickers, today's New Express newspaper reported.

The Dongguan police said the number of missing children may be overstated, but said they have launched a special task force to investigate.

Government officials said they are willing to talk with the parents, the report said.

The march started at 11am from the city government building.

Police were sympathetic to the demonstrators, sending officers and cars to escort the march, the New Express report said.

The parents, many in tears, carried posters with pictures of their missing children and large banners including one that read "10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) reward for finding the children." They distributed leaflets along the way.

"According to our estimates, more than 500 children went missing in 2008 and more than 1,000 have gone missing since 2007," one of the demonstrators, surnamed Tang, told the New Express newspaper.

She said the parents had set up an organization to find their children and establish the reward.

On October 18 last year, 20 boys went missing in the city's Qingxi Town, an unnamed parent told the newspaper.

Another girl was taken that day from outside her home in Gaobu Town.

Her father Xu Jiancheng joined yesterday's march.

"I came to support the march to promote public awareness of the missing children," he said.

The man spent all of the family's savings and borrowed another 70,000 yuan searching for his daughter. He has looked through 3,700 orphanages in the country, but in vain.

The man and his wife have promised a reward of 100,000 yuan for anyone who helps find their daughter.

Xu believes his daughter could be selling newspapers in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, after coming across an online picture on January 24.

A marcher surnamed Wang said parents feel helpless - about 80 percent failed to get police help because of a lack of evidence.

The demonstration was a last resort for desperate parents, he said. Wang's son went missing five years ago in the city's Dongkeng Town.

Another demonstrator, who did not give his name, told the newspaper that his son was lost on July 15 last year. The boy was later found by a kind-hearted passer-by and taken to a nearby police office in the afternoon. However 10 minutes later when the father arrived at the police station he found a stranger had already claimed the boy and taken him away.

He said he is suing the police.

Another woman, surnamed Ye, said her 9-month-old baby son was snatched from her arms on her doorstep in broad daylight on November 12, 2007. She still believes the boy is alive.

"He must be alive, he must be," she said.




 

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