05/09/2005, 00.00
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Selling newborn son to play lottery

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A father sold his newborn son for 9,000 yuans (about € 900) to buy lottery tickets and pursue his "dreams of becoming rich overnight".

A Chinese daily reported that "Mr Zhang, 35, was sentenced to ten years in jail and a 5,000 yuan fine by the Fugou County Court in the central Chinese province of Henan" for selling his new-born son. The man has another child.

According to the Chinese government, thousands of children are abducted or bought from poor families every year for sale to childless couples or families who want more children. But no one knows the real figure; it is likely much higher.

This trade is partly driven by China's 'one child' policy which limits most couples to only one child.

The limit prompts some parents to sell, abandon or kill baby girls in the hope of trying again for a boy.

This has not however led China to review its population policy; instead, they authorities have cracked down on trafficking. In several highly publicised cases, leaders of baby-trafficking gangs have been sentenced to death.

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