Pub­lic helps track down miss­ing chil­dren

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - Liang Shuang contributed to this story.

More than 90 per­cent of the miss­ing chil­dren whose de­tails were shared on an in­no­va­tive web plat­form over the past six months have been lo­cated, the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity an­nounced on Wed­nes­day.

The Tuanyuan plat­form— or Re­union, as it is com­monly known — sends no­ti­fi­ca­tions via sev­eral so­cial me­dia apps to peo­ple in and around an area where a child has van­ished.

Since May 15, when the pro­gram was launched, po­lice have input the de­tails of 286 chil­dren into the sys­tem. So far, 260 of them have been ac­counted for, the min­istry said at a me­dia gath­er­ing in Bei­jing.

“The plat­form al­lows the pub­lic to par­tic­i­pate,” said Yang Dong, di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion De­part­ment, who ex­plained that peo­ple not only re­ceive a child’s de­tails, but can also re­port sight­ings through apps.

“We alert the po­lice of­fi­cers in charge of a case of the clues at once, in­form the pub­lic that a miss­ing child has been found and re­fute ru­mors,” he added.

Of the chil­dren who have been lo­cated, more than half had run away from home, while about 10 per­cent had be­come lost. Eigh­teen chil­dren had to be res­cued from hu­man traf­fick­ers, while another 52 were dis­cov­ered to have died, in­clud­ing 32 who had drowned.

“All these chil­dren have been re­united with their par­ents, and the de­ceased chil­dren have been prop­erly re­turned to their fam­i­lies,” said Chen Jian­feng, who is in charge of com­bat­ing hu­man traf­fick­ing at the min­istry. The search for those still miss­ing is con­tin­u­ing, he added.

Phase 2 of the project will see it in­clude al­most ev­ery ma­jor so­cial me­dia plat­form in China.

The min­istry al­ready works with Amap, a lead­ing mo­bile nav­i­ga­tion app, and Sina Weibo. Now, it will team up with e-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba’s Ali­pay and Taobao plat­forms as well as com­pa­nies such as Baidu, Ten­cent and Qi­hoo 360.

“This will largely ex­pand the cov­er­age na­tion­wide,” said Liu Zhen­fei, chief risk of­fi­cer for Alibaba. “This is a great in­te­gra­tion be­tween mod­ern in­ter­net tech­nol­ogy and crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion tech­nol­ogy.”

WEI XIAOHAO / CHINA DAILY

Celebri­ties Huang Xiaom­ing (left), Sha Yi (cen­ter) and Li Yong are ap­pointed as ad­vo­cates for anti-traf­fick­ing by the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity as it launches the sec­ond phase of the Tuanyuan plat­form in Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day.

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