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Ms Lee A

2009 (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

North Korean women who cross the border into China fleeing hunger and repression in their homeland frequently fall victim to human traffickers who sell them to Chinese men searching for wives. These women describe being sold as “brides” to Chinese men, who often put them to backbreaking labour and subject them to constant fear, physical assault, and sexual abuse.

Ms Lee was persuaded by a man to leave North Korea in order to sell clothing in China. However when she left with him, he drugged her and trafficked her out of the country.

One day in January 2002, a Korean-Chinese man came and stayed with us for 20 days, When he heard I was selling clothes, he said I could make a lot of money if I went to China and sold clothes there. Without telling my husband and my son, I decided to follow him to the train station in Onsong to leave for China. As we were standing near the railroad, he gave me something to eat and some water. These must have been drugged, because after I had them, I lost consciousness. When I awoke, I found myself in a house on the Chinese side of the border.

Narrative provided by Radio Free Asia