The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that there are 2,640,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Men, women and children are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Government oppression in the DPRK prompts many North Koreans to flee the country in ways that make them vulnerable to human trafficking in destination countries. Many of the estimated 10 000 North Korean women and girls who have migrated illegally to China to flee abuse and human rights violation are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Some lure, drug, detain or kidnap North Korean women on their arrival, others offer jobs but subsequently force the women into prostitution, domestic service, or forced marriage. If found, Chinese authorities often repatriate victims back to the DPRK where they are subjected to harsh punishment including forced labour in labour camps or death.
Lee CS was taken to China by a man she thought loved her. Upon arrival she was sold to a farmer, kept locked up and forced to become his partner.
I came from xx county, Hamkyung province in NK. I was just staying at my home after high school. Then, I had a chance to learn to be a nurse, where I fell in love with a man, but he happened to be a trafficker. He tempted me to go to China to live a better life, so I just followed him, my love at that time. I didn't know the language, where I was at that time, I just followed him and I ended up with an old farmer who lived in the depths of the mountains. He was very suspicious that I might be running away, so he wouldn't leave home without locking the door from outside. I lived with him as his partner for 6 years. This made me sick and very tired. This was the main reason why I have followed my friend from NK into the same village, who wanted to go to S. Korea for their better life. I have no idea how to go to S. Korea. But I just heard this through my friend who was living at the same village, sold like me. Please help me to get out of this miserable life and make it to S. Korea. Thank you.
Narrative provided by Escaping North Korea: The Plight of Defectors: Hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission House of Representative