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Aye Aye

2012 (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. Women and girls are kidnapped or recruited through marriage brokers and transported to China from Africa, Asia and North Korea where some are subjected to commercial sex or forced labor.

Aye Aye was a 16-year-old housekeeper in Myanmar (Burma) helping her widowed father and two brothers, earning a dollar a day, when her boss offered her a better life and a U.S.$90-a-month job on the border with China.  However, rather than a better job Aye Aye was sold in to marriage with a Chinese man and was subjected to daily beatings by his family.


We were very poor, I wanted to help my family. One of the brokers told me not to worry, he said after 3 months I would have enough money for a car and a new house back in Burma. I didn’t believe it and kept saying no. But there was no way to escape. 

[Aye Aye married her owner even though she didn’t love him and said she tried to escape several times]

I learned to love him later. But when he was away during the day, his parents would beat me and pull my hair because they didn’t like the way I cooked or raised my children… He wouldn’t do anything about it.

[Aye Aye asked her husband several times if she could go to Burma to visit her family, just for a month. She faced a terrible dilemma: stay with her children in China and be abused, or abandon them and go home to Burma. She had a dream her father was sick, having not seen him in 5 years she decided to go]

I felt very sad. I knew I might never see or talk to my children again. I was frightened all the way.

They want me back. 

[Aye Aye decided to return on the condition hat she has a Burmese passport, a Chinese visa, and a guarantee in writing that her in-laws will leave her alone

My children don’t speak Burmese. Living in China will give them a chance to have a better life.


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