News / Asia

Trafficking in Foreign Women Rises in China

A young woman sold to a Chinese family and forced into marriage
A young woman sold to a Chinese family and forced into marriage
David Morton

More than three decades after it began, China's one-child population control policy has some unintended consequences. Because of a traditional preference for boys, thousands of couples abort female fetuses, and the Chinese government says that last year, 119 boys were born for every 100 girls.

The shortage of young women is pushing some families turn to human traffickers to find wives for their sons. The traffickers often go to neighboring Burma, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos and North Korea to buy or kidnap women.

Members of Burma's Kachin Women's Association comfort three young women sold to Chinese families by human traffickers.  The women, aged between 16 and 18, came to China with the promise of a better life. But they found themselves sold as brides to men in rural areas for as little as $700, and kept as virtual prisoners.

VICTIM 1: "A woman in my village told me she could get me a good job in China.  That night, we stopped at a sugar cane plantation, where I was given some noodles to eat, after that, I don't remember anything. When I woke up I didn't know where I was, and I wasn't allowed to contact anyone."

VICTIM 2: "My uncle came with two others and the Chinese police, and tried to take me back, but the villagers wouldn't let them, so the police arrested my husband. But the villagers said that they had paid money for me, and wouldn't let me go, and my uncle told them, you need to talk to the people you paid money to, because these are our children."

Trafficking of women is not uncommon in Nabang. The town overlaps China's border with Burma. Thousands of women enter China every year, hoping for a job, only to find themselves trapped.

Organizations like Health Unlimited do their best to help, but as the head of operations, Dr. Tu Lum, explains, it is an uphill battle.

"The status of women is very low and girls are not well educated," he explained.  "People [in Burma] are so poor, and they will always rush to any place if they hear there is a job opportunity. So many people get cheated like this."

Stopping the traffickers is virtually impossible. Chinese authorities have little influence on the Burmese side, while China's one-child policy has led to a shortage of marriage-age women in poor rural areas. Li Yinhe, a sociologist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, explains.

"Because these villages are so poor, all these men have difficulties getting married, and this forces them to solve the problem using money," she said.

Although China bans human trafficking, those who help victims say many more women are likely to be trapped in the country each year as unwilling brides.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid