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.
Nang Seng Ja was trafficked by her three cousins, who planned to split the money. But Nang Seng Ja said the youngest cousin felt that she had been given less than her share of the proceeds. In revenge she gave Nang Seng Ja’s mother the phone number for the family who had purchased Nang Seng Ja.
Then my mom and I talked in Kachin and the family got mad. Then I told my mom ‘If we can give them 88,000 yuan [$14,000], they will release me.
[The family cut off the phone call and Nang Seng Ja’s family went to the specialised Myanmar anti-trafficking police. Two of Nang Seng Ja’s cousins who were in Myanmar were arrested. The Chinese family went into hiding and kept Nang Seng Ja locked in a room again.
When I returned, among my friends, I was looked down on wherever I went—because I am different…I have so many difficulties. I have so much shame.
Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch in their report “Give Us a Baby and We’ll Let You Go”: Trafficking of Kachin “Brides” from Myanmar to China