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Ms Lee B

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.

After Ms Lee lost all of her family members, a North Korean couple trafficked her to China and sold her to a man who is now her husband.

My parents died of starvation and my two younger brothers were killed by robber in North Korea. After I lost all my family members, I was left wandering in the countryside all by myself. One day, I met a North Korean couple who looked a little bit younger than me. In November 1999, they suggested I go to China with them. As soon as we arrived in Helong and went into the house where they took me, I was taken to Longjiang and then to Yanji by the ethnic Koreans. From Yanji I was taken to Mundanjiang in Heilongjiang province by train. When we arrived in Mundanjiang, the brother of my current father-in-law was waiting for us. I was then taken to Jidong in Heilongjiang where I live with an ethnic Korean man. I have been told that my current husband paid 10,000 yuan for me.

Narrative provided by Radio Free Asia