This week, the Global Post published a great article about human trafficking in Ruili, a city on the Chinese side of the border with Myanmar. The article, written Kathleen E. McLaughlin, says that China’s one child policy is fueling trafficking of women from poorer neighboring countries like North Korea and Myanmar into forced marriages.
Recently, we reported from a congressional hearing in which North Korean defectors spoke of being trafficked upon landing on Chinese soil. And worse yet, arrested and sent back to North Korea, where they were tortured. (Read ‘90% of North Korean Defectors Sold to Chinese Traffickers, Advocate Says’). China is currently on the Tier 2 watch list on the latest Trafficking in Persons Report. And the Chinese government has made several high profile human trafficking busts in recent months (like this, this and this).
But critics, such as Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) have said that China does not comply with the minimum standards prescribed by the Trafficking Victims Protections Act.
Read McLaughlin’s report (via Global Post):
At least 10,000 women from Myanmar live and work in the Ruili area, with varying degrees of legal status. Many are maids and nannies. Many more work in the sex trade. This is a hub of prostitution, and foreign women are both exotic — a big draw for Chinese men — and cheaper than Chinese girls. Prostitution halls are often disguised as massage parlors, but the sex trade is barely hidden.
Women lured from Myanmar to China fill a gap created by this country’s one-child policy and cultural preference for sons. By 2020, an estimated 35 million Chinese men will be unable to find wives. Increasingly, bachelors buy women from poorer countries like Myanmar and North Korea.
Watch video of the report after the jump!