Daily World News Digest, 11 March 2015

Market for abducted children in China

BBC News reports today that an illegal market in children has developed in China, in which babies are being openly sold online. The Chinese government provides no figures, but the US State Department has estimated that 20,000 children are abducted annually, or 400 a week, the BBC reported. Chinese state media have suggested the true figure could even be 200,000 per year, though the police reject this higher estimate. A baby boy can sell for up to $16,000, according to the report, double the price for a girl. http://bbc.in/1GqmRIr

Missing Indonesians “have not joined IS”

The Jakarta Post reported on 10 March that Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla has said he does not believe that 16 Indonesian citizens reported missing in Turkey last month have joined Islamic State (IS). The Vice President urged government authorities to seek complete information on the whereabouts of the 16 citizens and he reiterated the Indonesian government’s firm opposition to IS. The 16 citizens were reported to have lost contact with their travel group as soon as they arrived at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, on 24 February. http://bit.ly/18aEFMv

Eight Ways Women are Impacted by Disappearances

The International Center for Transitional Justice announced on 9 March that it will launch two publications next week examining the many ways in which women are impacted by enforced disappearance, completing a multi-year project to examine the lasting impact this practice has on women across the world, and how transitional justice measures can help to redress these effects. The ICTJ announcements lists eight of the many ways in which women’s lives are affected by this practice, both as the disappeared and as female relatives of the missing. http://bit.ly/1BtORtQ

Families of missing Mexican students to campaign in US

KPBS News from San Diego reported on 10 March that the parents and classmates of the 43 students who disappeared in Mexico’s Guerrero State in September will cross the border this month to protest in the US.  A coalition of Latino human rights groups said at a press conference in San Diego on Tuesday that a caravan will arrive in the city on 23 March, one of three that will cross the border through El Paso on 16 March and fan out in different directions across the country. The caravans will visit at least 45 US cities to spread international awareness about the missing students. http://bit.ly/1D40rPA

Mona Lisa search: Test results on Lisa Gherardini’s bones to be announced

The International Business Times reported on 9 March that test results that will show whether or not the “bones of Mona Lisa” have been discovered will be announced in as little as two weeks. Carbon-14 results on three skeletons exhumed from Florence’s Sant’Orsola convent will show if one of them is likely to be Lisa Gherardini, the woman believed to have sat for Leonardo da Vinci for his most famous portrait. The project leader of the Sant’Orsola bones study told reporters that DNA tests will also enable researchers to establish the color of the eyes, hair and skin of the three people whose remains were found – possibly further helping to identify the woman behind the Mona Lisa. Previously, researchers had said that they would need to compare the DNA of the potential Mona Lisa to the bones of Gheradini’s children, who were buried in a family tomb. http://bit.ly/1NIif5P

3,000 skeletons excavated at a new train station site in London

The Frontline Desk news portal reports today that archaeologists in London have started the exhumation of about 3,000 skeletons of Great Plague victims from a burial ground that will become the newest train station in London. A group of 60 scientists will work for 24 hours, six days per week, in shifts over the next month on the Bedlam cemetery to remove the old skeletons, which will be re-buried at a cemetery near London. Crossrail – the company, which will be constructing a modern East-West railway in London, said the digging taking place close to Liverpool Street Station had been performed on its behalf with archeological equipment from the London Museum. Crossrail said the bones will be checked to “clarify migration patterns, diet, demography, and way of life” of Londoners during the period. http://bit.ly/1KUZPzS

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.