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Han, Ling (2019) Child trafficking in China from a human rights-based approach: A case study of three Chinese provinces. [Ph.D. thesis]

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Abstract (italian or english)

Child trafficking is a heinous crime and a severe violation of human rights that concerns every country, including China. Child trafficking in China has particularities and is subject that has been under-evaluated. The prohibition of child trafficking in China has historically focused on the domestic abduction and sale of children, which has always existed in Chinese history. In the 1980s, the crime became widespread, and public concern reignited. The existing domestic legal framework based on the first Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, adopted in 1979, is remindful of a long history of contrasting a widespread practice. Human rights violations are both causes and consequences of child trafficking, either domestic or transnational. This research examined the crime of child trafficking, as defined in Article 240 of the Criminal Law of China, in three provinces of China (Guangdong, Shandong, and Yunnan) from a human rights perspective, analysing factors that may cause and facilitate child trafficking and human rights issue arise during and after trafficking process, as well as the State's obligations under international human rights law. To ensure that the research questions are adequately addressed, this research adopted a mixed-methods approach. There are three criminal modes of child trafficking: the abduction and sale of children (M1), the parental sale of children (M2), and the organised child trafficking (M3). The quantitative analysis of 1,567 court judgements at national level drew up the flows of trafficked children in the three provinces of study. Detailed analysis of the court judgements regarding 689 victims in Guangdong, Shandong and Yunnan Provinces unveiled both differences and similarities in the trafficking patterns presented in the three provinces. The crime was concentrated in rural areas. Most of the children were trafficked for illegal adoption. They were primarily infants less than one year old. Both boys and girls were vulnerable to trafficking. The anecdotic evidence based on case law proved that human rights violations and issues are not only the causes and consequences of crimes related to child trafficking; they continue to exist after the rescue of the victim. Poverty and gender-based discrimination are the main structural factors identified in this research. Discrimination against persons with disabilities and children born out of wedlock are other factors that cause child trafficking. The birth control policy is a proximate factor that interacts with poverty and discrimination, and flourish child trafficking in the three provinces. Child trafficking causes serious violations of the dignity and fundamental human rights of the victim, including the right to life, the right to liberty, the right to security of person, the right to be free from torture and enslavement, the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, the right to not be separated from their parents against their will, and the right of the child to be registered immediately after birth, to have a name and to acquire a nationality. New human rights challenges arose after the rescue of the trafficked children. The issues of concern include, but not limited to, the care of the victims after the rescue, safe return to family, healthcare and assistance to the child victim, and the right to remedy. China has actively engaged in combating child trafficking, and some of the measures were innovative. However, the policies and measures have failed in many aspects to respond to the realities and particularities of crimes in the country and brought new challenges regarding human rights protections. Some structural defects of the Chines anti-trafficking law and their consequences emerged in this study. Numerous gaps also need to be filled in when referring to international human rights standards and principles.


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EPrint type:Ph.D. thesis
Tutor:Yang, Songcai
Supervisor:De Stefani, Paolo
Ph.D. course:Ciclo 32 > Corsi 32 > HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIETY, AND MULTI-LEVEL GOVERNANCE
Data di deposito della tesi:01 December 2019
Anno di Pubblicazione:01 December 2019
Key Words:human rights, child trafficking, China
Settori scientifico-disciplinari MIUR:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/04 Scienza politica
Struttura di riferimento:Centri > Centro Interdipartimentale di ricerca e di servizi sui Diritti della Persona e dei Popoli
Codice ID:12254
Depositato il:27 Jan 2021 10:01
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