BEIJING, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- China has become a major thoroughfare for human trafficking efforts as both a source country and a destination point, U.N. agency officials say.
Kirsten di Martino, a UNICEF project officer in Beijing, said the 44,000 cases of human trafficking investigated by China's public security bureau between 2000 and 2007 represent only a portion of the actual trafficking taking place in China, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The UNICEF official said China "is very big, and has a lot of border -- and has a whole lot of problems."
Kathleen Speake, chief technical adviser for the U.N. International Labor Office in Beijing, said a notable percentage of human trafficking into China comes from Myanmar.
Speake said women come from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, to take part in forced or voluntarily arranged marriages, while babies are transported into China to be adopted.
"In the villages bordering Myanmar, there are some people working as matchmakers," Meng Yilian of the China-Myanmar Cooperation Against Human Trafficking told the Post. "And some of them are human traffickers. It's hard to tell who are the matchmakers and who are the traffickers."