(Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ~~ Monday April 21 2008
Original Screening at: UK Monday 08 October 2007
Ten years after the powerful film The Dying Rooms, about the neglect of abandoned babies in Chinese orphanages, Dispatches returns to a very different China where the infamous 'One Child' policy has had the horrific side effect of a boom in stolen children.
It is estimated that 70,000 children are kidnapped there every year and traded on the black market.
Untold thousands of other people are tragically affected by the trade… this film features remarkable access to those at its core: desperate parents searching for a stolen son; a trafficker who brokers deals and who sold his own child; a young couple having to give away their newborn daughter; a private investigator who hunts for stolen children; a boy rescued from traffickers.
In modern China, baby girls can be sold for as little as $500. Boys cost $1000-plus. "China’s Stolen Children" intimately reveals the depth of this tragedy and explores the connection between child trafficking, an alarming shortage of girls and the country's stringent birth control policy. It's a link the Chinese Government rejects.
This documentary shows a side of China that authorities would rather keep hidden – at any time, and especially in the long run-up to the Olympics. Its makers worked undercover, posing as tourists, constantly moving hotels and changing their telephone simcards.
"China's Stolen Children" recently won a Royal Television Society Award and its director has been nominated for this weekend's BAFTAs. Narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley, made for Channel 4 and HBO, "China's Stolen Children" airs on Four Corners at 8.30 pm Monday 21 April, on ABC1.
This film provides an intimate portrait of the crisis this stringent government policy has created among China's poorest people.
The Dying Rooms
In 1995 Brian Woods and Kate Blewett uncovered the systematic neglect of abandoned babies in orphanages in China. Watch The Dying Rooms. WATCH HERE
Help find Chen Jie and other missing children in China:
London ~~ September 23, 2007
Chinese bid to stop ‘kids for sale’ film
The Chinese embassy in London is trying to stop Channel 4 broadcasting a documentary about the trade in stolen children in China.
The embassy is considering seeking an injunction to try to prevent China’s Stolen Children being shown on October 8. It has also been in touch with Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, and is expected to write to Channel 4’s board.
The Chinese are angry that they are not being given an advance screening of the documentary, which claims that the trade in stolen children is widespread. C4 says it is not its policy to show such programmes in advance.
However, the programme makers have provided the embassy with a three-page letter detailing their evidence. Professor Kevin Bales, a consultant to the United Nations programme on people trafficking, says in the film that at least 70,000 young children a year are sold or stolen in China.
Zhao Shangsen, press counsellor to the embassy, wrote to the programme makers saying: “The programme is deeply flawed, ignorant and simplistic.” He denies any link between child trafficking and China’s one-child policy, pointing to trafficking in other countries which do not have state-imposed birth control.
Shangsen wrote that China has made progress in trying to end child trafficking, which was on a far smaller scale than the programme suggested. “There is no good in finger-pointing at China,” Shangsen wrote to C4.
The programme makers filmed undercover in China, speaking to parents who had had a child stolen or had sold a child, and to traffickers. More boys are taken than girls because they will grow up to earn more money. Most are taken for childless couples, although some are sold into prostitution.
Channel 4 has already conceded a right of reply at the end of the programme to the Chinese embassy.
China’s Stolen Children is produced by the same team that made The Dying Rooms and Return to the Dying Rooms in the mid1990s which showed that many second-born children were dumped in orphanages and left to die.
The programmes led to a diplomatic row between China and the Tory government. Since then, trade links between Britain and China have strengthened considerably.
With the Olympics in Beijing next year, China’s human rights and environmental record will be scrutinised in the West.