China Launches DNA Database to Reportedly Help Children

China Launches DNA Database to Reportedly Help Children

( – In 1980, China’s population was bursting at the seams. The Chinese communist government created a one-child policy to control the country’s growth and limited most families to only one child. The policy ended in 2015. Still, there was a prevalent problem that continued beyond the one-child policy.

The Chinese culture prefers boys over girls. Due to abortions of girls and multiple pregnancies allowed until a boy was born, many baby girls were either aborted or killed by other means until 2015. The one-child policy created a significant gender imbalance. In areas of China where the imbalance was significant, child trafficking became a big issue. To combat the human trafficking of children, the Chinese created a limited DNA database in 2009. Now, the Chinese government intends to expand the database and make it illegal for parents to avoid it.

China Expands DNA Database Program to Help Children

In 2009, the DNA database program was voluntary. If a child becomes a victim of human trafficking, the family can submit personal items, like the hair of the suspected victim, to extract DNA and use it to help find the missing child. Now, the government believes the old DNA program is no longer sufficient to combat China’s human trafficking challenge.

A member of China’s National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) proposes an expanded and mandatory nationwide child DNA database. According to the plan, the communist government would require all kindergarten and primary school children to register their DNA. The government could punish children and families who withhold information from the proposed database.

Schools wouldn’t admit the student If the child doesn’t have their DNA recorded in the database, for instance. The proposed law would also require parents to submit their DNA files to the new academic institution when transferring to another school. According to the proposal, a Communist Party official said if parents refuse to comply with the DNA reporting mandate, they could face criminal charges and become police targets.

Communist Party Officials Hopeful About Program

Some government officials said cultural factors and lax law enforcement in rural areas are a leading problem in China’s fight against human trafficking. The new proposal includes several provisions strengthening the Communist Party’s attempt to eradicate the problem.

One government official said the very nature of mandated DNA reporting of each household would create accountability. Another said medical birth certificates should include a mother’s and child’s DNA. Over time, the government could establish a nationwide DNA program encompassing the entire Chinese population. Proponents say the DNA database could help police locate missing children quickly and end human trafficking.

Still, several questions about the controversial idea remain. Officials don’t explain how knowing a child’s DNA would help them end human trafficking. Meanwhile, critics outside China fear the extensive database could help the government clamp down on citizens. The government could even use the database to determine which individuals get certain benefits or restrictions.

The Chinese Communist Party is likely to rubber-stamp the DNA database initiative for better or worse. What could possibly go wrong?

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