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Has anyone seen our child?

In China, 190 children are snatched every day - more than twice the number taken in England and Wales in a year. The Chinese government does not acknowledge the extent of the problem, or the cause. The Single Child Policy has made it essential to have a son, leading to the abortion of more than 40 million girls and setting the price on a boy's head at more than six months' wages. By Clare Dwyer Hogg

The events of this summer mean that every one of us will have considered, for a moment at least, the horror of having a child snatched. The emotions parents must endure aren't hard to imagine: the creeping numbness of realisation; the shock turning to panic as the minutes tick by; the helpless reliance on the goodwill of others, particularly the police. In Europe, the cases of child kidnapping are sporadic. In China, however, they are increasingly common. Around 190 children are snatched every day - stolen from their beds and the streets. This is more than double the average number of abductions recorded in England and Wales over a whole year. If 190 people were dying every day from the same illness, you'd call it an epidemic. And that's exactly what it is, except nobody really wants to talk about it. Especially the Chinese government.

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