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China’s child slavery goes to air

Marketplace Staff Oct 8, 2007
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China’s child slavery goes to air

Marketplace Staff Oct 8, 2007
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Doug Krizner: A documentary film will be broadcast tonight on British television. It’s an undercover look at the black market trade in Chinese children — 70,000 children abducted and sold into slavery. The film has so angered China’s government, the Chinese embassy in London sought an injunction to block the broadcast.

Let’s bring in reporter Bill Marcus in Shanghai. Bill, how were the film’s producers able to prevent Chinese security officials from interfering with this project?

Bill Marcus: Well, the term for foreigner, a white foreigner here, is “gwilo.” It means ghost. And they tried to behave as if they were ghosts. They would come in to interview either parents or the child traffickers one by one, and they’d leave one by one. And they did this for two and a half years — they collected information. And some of the most chilling interviews are traffickers talking about the bare economics of selling a child. In fact, a boy can fetch about $1,300.

Krizner: What is the response of the Chinese government to this?

Marcus: They acknowledge that there’s a problem. They say the problem is not as bad as the documentary makers make it out to be, and they ask to be given an advance screening. And the documentary makers gave them a three-page letter that detailed their evidence. The government also denies the accusation that’s made in the film that the one-child policy has anything to do with this, because more boys are taken than girls. Basically because they will earn more money.

Krizner: Reporter Bill Marcus speaking to us this morning from Shanghai. Bill, thanks so much.

Marcus: Yeah, you’re very welcome, Doug. Thank you.

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