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  • Tags: 2015-2017 (Enslavement period)
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The internal migration of Chinese people seeking work has created an opportunity for human traffickers in China. Moreover, the gender imbalance caused by the One Child Policy and the cultural preference for male children, has caused a shortage of women which has led to the trafficking of women to be sold as brides. As a result, many women find themselves either deceived by promises of employment, sold or abducted and forced into marrying Chinese men who have paid for them. The prevalence of poverty in China makes the poor more vulnerable to enslavement. With the National Bureau of Statistics estimating that 70,170,000 are still living in poverty, people are more desperate and thus more likely to be receptive to fraudulent job offers.     Noi was just 17 years old when she was forced to drop out of high school in northern Laos’ Luang Namtha province to earn money for her family. When a middleman approached her in early 2015 about marrying a man across the border in China in exchange for around 40 million kip (U.S. $4,830)—despite the legal age for marriage in China being 20—she jumped at the chance. After holding a small party with her relatives, according to the traditions of her Leu ethnic group, Noi travelled to China to live with the man. During the first three months, he treated her kindly and sent small payments to her parents in Laos, but soon his demeanour changed and he began to beat her.