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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid