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.
Charaya was trafficked to China from Cambodia and forced to marry a Chinese man. Here she tells of how she returned home after escaping her husband and going to the police and Cambodian consulate.
I was in police custody after escaping from my husband. I took out a copy of my passport and presented it to the officer. It was night. He showed me a room for me to rest. The next morning, I was transferred to a larger office where a lot of policemen worked. Around midday, an officer from the Cambodian consulate came to meet me and to talk about my situation. Since I had a copy of my passport, my case was not complicated to address. I was sent to a shelter for temporary stay while they worked out my issue with the police. A day later, a police officer and consulate staff met me and my husband, who had been asked to come in and bring along my passport, to find a solution to the family matter. The police officer asked whether I wanted to return to my husband. I replied no. he sent me to a shelter again and the consulate asked me to stay there and wait for the required documents to be processed. I stayed in the shelter for about two weeks until the consulate officer informed me that the documents were done and I had to buy my ticket home. I told him that I didn’t have money to pay for that. He suggested that I call home and ask my parent to arrange the transfer. My mom managed to get $300 transferred to the officer through his relative in Phnom Penh and finally I flew back home to Cambodia.
Narrative provided by UN-ACT report Human Trafficking Vulnerabilities in Asia