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.
Cho Cho, who was 18 and married, was selling the betel nut chew so popular with Burmese men when a man from her neighborhood approached her with the promise of a job in Mandalay. However, instead of a job, Cho Cho found herself on a truck bound for China and upon arrival, was sold to a Chinese man to be married. After refusing to marry the man that bought her, Cho Cho was forced to work as a labourer. She was finally able to escape to the police who deported her back to Burma.
It was after the monks’ revolution in 2007 and there was a curfew. I couldn’t do business. It was a bad economic situation.
I told them I wanted to go home, But they said they wanted $250 as a ‘refund.’ I had no money.
[Cho Cho, with a husband at home, refused to be married to the man who bought her]
He locked me in a room and beat me with his hands and sticks, Then he took me by the hair and beat my head against the brick wall… That was the worst part, to be beaten again and again.
[Cho Cho’s beatings stopped only after she agreed to work as a laborer in the farmer’s fields]
[Alone one morning, she walked away and fled to a police station in a nearby town. Instead of taking her back to her owner, as they sometimes do, the police held her for three months as an illegal alien and then deported her to Burma]
I told my husband everything when I got home, and he accepted me back, The scars are gone. No more scars…(but) I’m still heartbroken telling this story
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