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 has been sold to several Chinese men. The most recent husband forced her to have a sterilization operation which has left her with lasting health issues.
After I was sold to Chinese men several times, I was finally introduced to an ethnic Korean man with whom I have been living since 2003. He was 45 years old and had a 19-year-old daughter from his previous wife. As soon as we began to live together, the man asked me to have a sterilization operation, saying it would be too embarrassing for him if I became pregnant because he was an old man. I had the operation at the hospital in the city, I have since had another operation due to an infection in that part of my body. I learned only after the operation that there are many other ways to avoid pregnancy. I wish I had not had the operation because I am still suffering from the consequences.
Narrative provided by Radio Free Asia