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Death sentences for China's baby trafficers.

BEIJING -- A court in southern China convicted 52 people of selling infants on the black market, sentencing six to death and five to life in prison, Xinhua news agency reported.

The group was accused of trafficking 118 babies and was revolved in two high-profile cases in March 2003 in which 28 baby girls were discovered in travel bags on a bus and 13 other babies were found being smuggled in the southern region of Guangxi.

Four others received suspended death sentences and five others were sentenced to life in prison, the remaining were given jail sentences of varying lengths.

The sale of women and children has become a problem in China, where stringent rules on family planning allow couples to have just one child, at least in the cities, and limit the numbers elsewhere.

The restrictions have bolstered a traditional bias for male offspring, seen as the mainstay for ageing parents and has resulted in abortions or killings of baby girls.

Over the past six months 95 arrests were made; two people were sentenced to death and others jailed for smuggling more than 100 babies.

The U.N. Children's Fund said about 250,000 women and children were victims of trafficking in China last year.

Official figures show police freed 42,215 kidnapped women and children in 2002 and 2003.
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Title Annotation:Child & Family
Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Aug 16, 2004
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