CUSIB’s Jing Zhang focusing attention on missing children in China, need for RFA and VOA broadcasts
July 23, 2013
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) members are involved in many pro-human rights activities in addition to supporting and promoting media freedom abroad and media outreach from the United States to nations without free press.
On July 27, 2013 at New York City’s Union Square Park, CUSIB Advisory Board member Jing Zhang will present Women’s Rights in China exhibit of hundreds of photographs of missing Chinese children.
CUSIB members like Women’s Rights in China (WRIC) founder and director Jing Zhang are telling U.S. lawmakers, members of the bipartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and U.S. media that Internet radio, shortwave radio, satellite television broadcasts and other media outreach programs funded by the U.S. government, including those from Radio Free Asia (RFA) and the Voice of America (VOA), are critical for keeping audiences in China and in other countries informed about human rights abuses such as trafficking in women and children. Ms. Zhang, a former political prisoner in China, worked later as a journalist in Hong Kong before immigrating to the United States and founding Women’s Rights in China.
Ann Noonan, CUSIB Executive Director, said that “RFA and VOA programs are a lifeline for victims of human rights abuses, including trafficked women and parents of missing children.” CUSIB Director Ted Lipien said that “trafficked women and parents of missing children cannot count on the Chinese authorities to help them or provide them with accurate information.”
“China’s government could have done so much more before 2009 to combat the plague of child trafficking,” said Jing Zhang. “The problem is still very serious. More resources are needed to effectively combat child trafficking. The attitude of local authorities in China who were contacted by our volunteers has often been either indifferent or hostile,” Ms. Zhang added.
Ted Lipien said that “Radio Free Asia and Voice of America help to address the problem of media censorship and indifference on the part of the Chinese authorities.” “In many cases, these programs force local officials to act where otherwise they would ignore even the most serious human rights abuses against women and children,” Lipien added.
According to Ted Lipien, since the Chinese government is blocking VOA, RFA and other Western news websites, more efforts by the BBG at Internet censorship circumvention are needed. “But this does not diminish but rather increases the need for both radio and satellite television broadcasts to China,” Lipien said. The Chinese authorities are trying to jam radio signals, but they can still be heard, particularly in rural China where most the country’s population lives. China has not yet been known to interfere with satellite television signals.
Ann Noonan said that “hundreds of millions of poor people live in rural China without access to the Internet and they need information.” She added, “CUSIB is proud of the work being done by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America journalists and of the work of CUSIB Advisory Board member Ms. Jing Zhang to bring the plight of trafficked women and trafficked and missing children in China to the attention of the world and to help these victims through information and humanitarian programs.”
Women’s Rights in China’s Photo Exhibit of Missing Children in China
Time: Saturday, July 27, 2013 from 11am – 5pm Address: Union Square Park, South Plaza, New York City
Background: Since the early 1980’s through 2009, there were 200,000 documented cases of children who have gone missing in China due to trafficking. China’s government’s (CCP) One-Child Policy has caused a serious gender imbalance which has led to the trafficking of girls. Many families in China resort to buying girls and young women for their sons to marry, which has led to the recent widespread kidnapping of girls for the black market of human trafficking.
Women’s Rights in China (WRIC) volunteers have collected these photographs of children from various provinces in China. Many of the WRIC volunteers who helped with this project are themselves parents of missing children. They organized into support and rescue groups that cover much of China. Their independent and civil society initiatives do not receive any assistance from China’s government. Instead, these volunteer activists risk frequent arrests and harassment for their anti-trafficking campaigns and petitioning China’s government.
“China’s government could have done so much more before 2009 to combat the plague of child trafficking,” said Jing Zhang, Director of Women’s Rights in China, “The problem is still very serious. More resources are needed to effectively combat child trafficking. The attitude of local authorities in China who were contacted by our volunteers has often been either indifferent or hostile.”
This WRIC photo exhibit will also highlight the corruption of China’s government’s welfare system, and call for increased vigilance among American couples who are looking to adopt orphans from China.
Since 2005, high-profile reports have been published to highlight this deceptive and criminal adoption practice. Districts in Hunan like Hengnan , Hengyang, Hengshan, Hengdong, Changning, Qidong, have all had uncovered cases in which China’s Birth Planning Commission officials have kidnapped newborns from their homes as “fines” for “illegal above-quota births” and then profited by selling these babies through China’s government-run orphanages for adoption by American and European couples. In 2005 alone, these government welfare organizations in Hengyang City trafficked 78 babies later placed for adoption abroad.
Jing Zhang said, “This is a widespread practice that has only recently come into the attention of the western media. An investigative reporter, verifying this awareness in Shaoyang, Hunan, wrote a book titled “Orphan of Shao.” The book is a compilation of records that had been sent to Shaoyang City. These records hold documented accounts of an orphanage that was responsible for the dozens of children being adopted in Western countries. There were at least 15 families that we have found who adopted trafficked orphans from Shao. WRIC has been authorized to publish a copy of that book to increase the awareness to the American public. If a child was taken out of China in this manner, her birth parents would have no way to recover her or ever find closure. We at WRIC will continue to do our best to assist concerned parents both in the United States of America and in China who contact us through our website.”
Women’s Rights in China will exhibit of hundreds of photographs of missing Chinese children at New York City’s Union Square Park from 11 am to 5 pm on July 27, 2013.
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