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Mai A

2017 (Narrative date)

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.

Mai, 16, was trafficked from Vietnam into China to be sold as a child bride.

I was a good student. But my parents could no longer afford to send me to school, so they put me to work in the fields instead. One day I got chatting to a guy on Facebook. He said he was a police officer and that he could find me better paid work in China. I went to meet him, but a group of guys bundled me into a truck and drove into China. When we stopped, I ran for it. After a couple of days, some women took me to the local police and I was able to come back to Vietnam.


As told to the Guardian