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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.

Channary was trafficked to China from Cambodia and forced to marry a Chinese man. She tells of how the translator present at the marriage registration office failed to authenticate free will, failing to prevent her forced marriage.

The interpreter was a Cambodian woman who had married a local man. She told me that it was not good to marry a local Chinese man. She knew I was against the arranged marriage. Before I went to the marriage registration office, the broker threatened me by saying that if I didn’t say ‘yes’ I would have to refund all the money spent on my trip to and stay in China. There were 15 people at the registration office that day. The interpreter spoke Chinese, Khmer and Vietnamese. She did not report my case to the Civil Affairs office and just followed the normal procedures of stamping and signing my marriage certificate.


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