There are an estimated 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China (GSI 2018). 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. Kachin people are an ethnic minority who are predominantly Christian. Armed conflict between Myanmar military and the Kachin Independence Army has made life in the area difficult. This was exacerbated in 2011 with the end of a cease fire that left over 100,000 people internally displaced. In the camp where many of these people live there is little opportunity to earn a living. The government have made it worse by blocking aid to displaced people. This has led to women and girls becoming particularly vulnerable to trafficking as they search for jobs outside the country, often in China.
Chesa was trafficked from Myanmar to China and forced to marry a Chinese man. She tells of how, in unfamiliar surroundings in a strange country, she had her movement restricted and did not know how to escape.
I didn’t know what to do and where to go, and how to return, so I had to live with them. They did not allow me to go out. I had to stay in that house only. They did not let me use a phone.
Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch