At least five Australian children are trapped in China, unable to return home because of the Chinese government’s crackdown on Uighur Muslims, the Guardian can reveal. The children, who range in age from one to six, are all Australian citizens and come from three different families. They have been stuck in China for up to two years, and are all separated from at least one of their parents.
In one case, the parents say Chinese authorities threatened that the child would be taken into a state-run orphanage and given up for adoption to a Han Chinese family, and the Chinese parent would be sent to a detention centre. Parents of the children and advocates for the families have criticised the Australian government for perceived inaction in seeking to bring the children to Australia, saying they have “grave fears” for them.