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2015 (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.

17 year old Lina was recruited to China by her cousin who approached her parents, telling them Lina could earn more money abroad. However, upon arrival she was taken to the Bride Market and placed in a home where men would come to choose wives. When she pleaded with her cousin to go home, she was told she owed $2000.

She contacted me through my parents. They told me to go. I did not want to go but I thought that going there would provide me with a better salary than in Cambodia. So I must go.

Next day or the day after that, new people would arrive. People came every day to look at us.

I pleaded with my cousin, don’t make my family pay, we are poor. But she said, without $2000 you can’t go home. So my mom asked everyone she knew and borrowed from many families. She borrowed a little bit of money from many families to get $2000 so I can go home.

I feel very angry with my cousin every day, even though I was her blood relation she treated me so badly. A person like her should not be allowed to live peacefully. She should be sent to jail.

Please to anyone who is watching who is going to work abroad, sometimes there is no company or a private broker will cheat you. If you go, you could be cheated like me.

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