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2016 (Narrative date)

The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China. Women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa are trafficked in to forced marriage in the country for fees of up to £30,000. 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.

Botum was working in Phnom Penh when a co-worker approached her, convincing her to travel to China for work. However, once her travel documents were obtained, they were collected and retained by an agent and Botum was trafficked to China for forced marriage.

The woman introduced me to a man who would process my passport and travel documents. The man required me to give him a copy of my Cambodian ID, a birth certificate and family book. I went to meet with a person at the passport office who facilitated getting my thumbprint and picture taken, and I saw that four other girls were processing passports with the same man. It took us about two weeks to be ready to leave. I was given the travel documents just outside of the airport and was told to say that I would be visiting relatives.


 Narrative provided by UN-ACT report Human Trafficking Vulnerabilities in Asia