• Handcuffed child traffickers are presented in court.

Handcuffed child traffickers are presented in court. (Photo : http://www.dealstouch.com)

"I insist!!! That those who buy children get life imprisonment!! And death penalty to those who steal children."

That is the battle cry of sorts that echoed down the halls of cyberspace as thousands upon thousands of netizens reposted this message that appeared in “Moments,” a popular feature in WeChat 4.0.

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WeChat is a free messaging and calling app, and it was used by a dating website for marketing purposes through the message concerning child trafficking posted in “Moments.”

That marketing gimmick does not anymore matter now. What remains relevant is how people view the seriousness of child trafficking in the country.

The noise created online reached the ears of the government.

During the June meeting of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, part of the agenda was the amendment of the Criminal Law, such as Article 241 where penalties for buyers of abducted women and children are specified.

CCTV News reported that according to the present law, child traffickers can be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 10 years only. Some committee members want to amend the law because the punishments are light.

“The current penalties for child buyers, no more than three years in prison, criminal detention or public surveillance, are too lenient. I strongly think we should impose harsher punishments,” said Pang Lijuan, a member of the NPC Standing Committee.

Liu Depei, another member, said that the draft amendment should make both abductors and buyers receive “tougher punishments.” Committee member Han Xiaowu said that the law needs to be “further amended” and requires “further improvement.”

In a span of four years, from 2010-2014, the government caught almost 13,000 people engaged in human trafficking. In accordance to the current law, those who abducted more than three persons can receive life imprisonment or death penalty.

If the netizens are to be asked, most of them support the idea of death penalty for all human traffickers and life imprisonment for all buyers.