News / Asia

Rights Activists Say China's Gender Ratio Contributes to Human Trafficking

A young boy holds up a photo of his mother as he joins family members wearing posters describing the woman as missing from her home in Xian, northern China's Shaanxi province, as they launch a campaign to locate her (File Photo).
A young boy holds up a photo of his mother as he joins family members wearing posters describing the woman as missing from her home in Xian, northern China's Shaanxi province, as they launch a campaign to locate her (File Photo).

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

Human rights activists say women and children in China and surrounding countries are bought and sold in China. They are victims of either forced labor or sexual exploitation.  Some women and girls are also forced into marriages.

"These are the faces of the boys and girls who have disappeared in China without a trace," says Chai Ling, founder of the group All Girls Allowed, who has been working with
volunteer organizations to promote awareness and help families find their children.  She says many of the missing are kidnapped and sold.

"The brothels, they buy the women and girls into sex slavery," said Chai Ling. "That's a huge market out there. There are then individual families who want to make sure they have wives for their own son."

Traditional Chinese culture places more value on a boy.  When they grow up, the men are expected to live with and care for their parents, take a wife and continue the family name.  "When a woman is pregnant with a girl, " Chai says, "Some families are taking this matter into their own hands by selectively aborting, abandoning and selling their baby girls.  There are approaching 40 million young men inside China who will not find a bride. So as a result of that, sex trafficking against girls and women are becoming a huge problem inside China."

Human rights activists say China's one-child policy has contributed to the uneven gender ratio fueling the problem.

Chai says some missing girls may end up being sold to a family as a child bride. Boys can also be trafficked for families without male heirs.  

But volunteers are slowly making progress.

All Girls Allowed says a three-year-old girl, named Little Bean, was kidnapped last June and sold. With the help of volunteers who put out flyers with her picture,  she was found seven months later and reunited with her parents. 

Andrea Bertone, the director of human trafficking.org, says the gender imbalance in China is affecting surrounding countries.

"There is a large number of women who are brought in from Vietnam, Laos and North Korea for forced marriage situations and they're mainly going into the rural areas,"said Bertone. "Women or children who are being brought from neighboring countries across the borders to either work or be in a marriage in the rural areas, we're talking about a smaller network of people who know how to navigate the borders and be able to pay off the border officials pretty easily."

Bertone says traffickers inside China could either belong to small networks or more organized crime syndicates.

While a few are caught, the demand for women and children continues and the problem of human trafficking is expected to grow in China and expand throughout the region.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid