Emotional moment mother and son are finally reunited 31 YEARS after being kidnapped and sold into slavery by human traffickers
- In 1990, three-year-old Tao and his mother Zhou Jiaying were abducted and sold
- They were sold by neighbours to a family in China’s province of Shandong
- Ms Jiaying escaped within months, but was unable to save her son from captivity
- 31 years later he has traced her and the pair were overwhelmed at their reunion
This is the moment a mother and son were tearfully reunited after they were abducted and sold into slavery by human traffickers 31 years ago.
Tao Xiaobing had never given up hope of finding his mother and was finally able to trace her back to the city of Bijie in the Chinese province of Guizhou and set up Saturday’s reunion.
Tao was just three when he and his mother Zhou Jiaying were abducted and sold to a family in the province of Shandong by neighbours from the same village, Chinese news site Baidu reported.
Tao Xiaobing (left) was miraculously reunited with his mother (middle) in the city of Bijie in the Chinese province of Guizhou on June 26
A few months later, the mother managed to escape at a moment when she was unguarded and her captors were not expecting it. She managed to go home to Bijie, but she was unable to take her young son with her.
When she raised the alarm and returned to the house where they were forced to work, she found that no one was home and villagers kept telling her to ‘go away’.
To make matters worse, local officials appeared to have little appetite to help solve the disappearance at that time.
Three-year-old Tao and his mother Zhou Jiaying (pictured hugging having been reuinited) were abducted and sold to a family in the province of Shandong in 1990, by neighbours from the same village, according to the news site Baidu
The mother and son were reunited after Tao (pictured on the floor) tracked his mother down with the help of volunteers from Guizhou, Shandong and Xi’an
As soon as it was confirmed that Ms Jiaying, her son Tao rushed to the address in Guizhou Province to reunite with his mother (pictured)
Despite visiting the location several times over the years, she never had any luck in finding her son, who continued to work in slavery looking after the children and elderly in the family where he was being held captive.
He was eventually freed from servitude and adopted by a couple in Shandong Province, but the new couple were also not interested in helping him find his mother because they feared losing their new son.
Tao said that his new parents were afraid that he would return to her if he ever tracked down his biological mother.
A few months after being kidnapped, mother Zhou Jiaying (left) managed to escape, but was not able to take her young son with her
While hugging her long-lost son, Zhou said: ‘Thank you everyone for helping me find my child’
He said that despite that, he always thought of his mother and wanted to try to find her while he was going through university, but did not know where to start looking.
Years later, Tao felt that the time was right and tracked his mother down with the help of volunteers from Guizhou, Shandong and Xi’an.
He said that by this time he had married and had a family of his own, which had strengthened his desire to overcome the obstacles and find his real mother.
After being informed of his suspected mother’s whereabouts a DNA test was arranged, and as soon as it was confirmed, Tao rushed to the address in Guizhou Province to reunite with his mother.
While hugging her long-lost son, Zhou said: ‘Thank you everyone for helping me find my child.’
According estimates from the Global Slavery Index, on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in modern slavery in China – a rate of 2.8 people in every thousand in the country.