BEIJING, July 15 (UPI) -- China plans tough measures to protect young girls, whose dwindling number is creating an alarming sex imbalance in the nation.
The government will crack down on such perennial problems as trafficking and abandonment of girls and ban selective abortion, the BBC reported Thursday.
Current government figures show 117 boys are born for every 100 girls, the BBC said.
The imbalance is believed to be a result of China's strict one-child policy. Many parents abort baby girls, hoping to try again for a boy, the report said.
"Illegal sex determination and sex-selective abortion must be strictly banned," said Zhao Baige with China's National Population Commission.
"China has set the goal of lowering the sex ratio to a normal level by 2010."
The current imbalance has lead to warnings that millions of men will not find wives and has fueled a black market in child trafficking.