Beijing Red Cross Foundation (BRCF) is providing 20,000 GPS cell phones to the city’s school children. With 200,000 children disappearing each year in China, the Red Cross is taking action. According to an article by Chris Chang, Micgadget.com, the cost for these phones will be 840 Yuan (about $127) for 2 years of GPS and phone service. Not only do the phones allow talking and text messaging, but the watch-shaped cell phones allow parents to locate and track their children.
GPS Cell Phones—200,000 Children Disappear in China Each Year
The BRCF plans to expand the GPS phone program. The fund, jointly established by BRCF and a Beijing-based technology firm, plans to provide such phones to more Chinese regions. It’s now only available in Beijing, but the fund plans to expand to more Chinese regions, especially Shenzhen (the city with most kids gone missing). According to an article in TMCnet.com, “fatal school stabbings, stampedes and other school yard incidents across China have stunned the public and made parents and children anxious, calling for intensified measures to protect children’s safety.”
GPS cell phones are a welcome solution to parents’ concerns. The feedback from the trial program in Beijing is all positive. Being able to contact your child, as well as track their child’s location, gives parents some much needed peace of mind. Is there a problem having so many cell phones at school? The schools are working with the parents and rules are in place that children may not use their cell phones at school unless there’s an emergency.
Does this remind anyone of Big Brother watching? Yes, we need to take measures to keep children safe. With so many children at risk in China, something needs to be done. At this point the device is one you can choose to leave behind. But is the next step one that will embed a GPS chip in your child’s wrist so the government can track them for life? In China, this may take care of children going missing. For my kids, I think not…
What are your feelings? The news is putting a positive spin on an atrocious statistic. What strikes me is not that they are making GPS cell phones available, but that there are 200,000 children missing in China every year. Why is this happening? Where are these children? Surely they are not being murdered. So that leaves abduction? And then what? Are they being sold? Perhaps we need more awareness of just what is happening to these children.