EISSN 2532-3474 - ISSN 2532-649X - Padova University Press

New Technologies in Combating Child Trafficking in China: Opportunities and Challenges for Children’s Rights

TitleNew Technologies in Combating Child Trafficking in China: Opportunities and Challenges for Children’s Rights
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHan, L.
Secondary TitlePeace Human Rights Governance
Start Page389
Date Published11/2019
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2532-3474
Keywordschild abduction, Child trafficking, new technology, rights of the child

Child trafficking and the sale of children are violation of human rights. In China, child trafficking is criminalised, and a series of measures have been taken to prevent and prosecute relevant crimes and to protect victims of trafficking. Since a decade ago, new technologies have been applied to combat child trafficking and child abduction in China. This article analyses what are the advantages and shortcomings of these new technologies form a human rights-based perspective. Firstly, it explains the operational models of three applications of technologies that have been developed and promoted in China, namely DNA database for victims of trafficking, facial recognition technology, and Child Abduction Emergency Alert Platform. Afterwards, the study focuses on analysing how these applications challenge the key principles emphasising on children’s rights. This study finds that all three technologies are post hoc reaction or remediation methods that cannot prevent child trafficking. The DNA text and facial recognition have increased the possibility of family reunification, and the Alert Platform reduce the possibility of children at risk to suffer other violations. However, while contributing to the fight against child trafficking, new technologies have brought new challenges to human rights principles. As measures concerning children, they failed to take the best interest of children as the primary consideration, nor did they take into account the opinions of children. The privacy of the child victim and other children were infringed, and the equal access to these technologies for children belonging to disadvantaged social groups are at risk.