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Scrutiny
  
What a finished product to sell!
Lack of adequate policies encourages widespread child trafficking...
11/12/2008

The world has truly gone global when it comes to child adoption. Today, parents go beyond boundaries in ‘search of children’ (of course, we haven’t discovered a technique to grow them on trees yet!). Though the bright side of this is that it gives opportunities to many an orphaned child, to get a home and a bright future, yet in the hindsight this is also giving a radical push to growth in the count of cases of child trafficking, the world over, Guatemala being a case in point. A country with only a miniscule population of 13 million has sold over 4,500 children last year to US nationals (foster parents, of course). Surprisingly there has been several instances of children being sold away by force, and in many worse cases, they have simply been lifted off (call it kidnapping!). While authorities are expressing their concerns over the issue of rampant kidnappings at gun-point, the disturbing part about the whole issue is the payoff from the heinous act. A kidnapper’s ‘per deal’ day earning in Guatemala are much higher than the average annual salary of a Guatemalan citizen. Not just Guatemala, children from various Asian, African, Latin American and East European countries are sold to West Europe and US for huge sums. Last year, HIV-infected parents in South Africa sold over 500 children overseas. US adopts most children from China (5453), Russia (2310), South Korea (939), Ethiopia (1255) and over 3318 from Vietnam, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Liberia and Colombia in 2007, as per reports by The US State Department. China, Korea and India too adopt children from overseas. Though countries like Germany and US have stringent conditions of keeping records of those who have been adopted, in case of many of the donor countries (especially from Africa), little remains in the name of trail of the sold child... Adoption and kidnapping, are going hand-in-hand. We need to stop this before it happens to us too (our children, we mean)!

By:- Akram Hoque
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