Trafficking in women from Myanmar: young brides held captive in China

Light of truth

Chinese and Myanmar authorities are failing to stop the brutal trafficking of young women, often teenagers, for sexual slavery from conflict-ridden Kachin, a state in northern Myanmar, this according to a report by New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Released on March 22, the report notes that women are often tricked into travelling to China in search of work or kidnapped and held against their will to be sold as “brides” to Chinese men. Most of those taken hostage by Chinese families are locked up and raped, it says. Those who do escape are often obliged to leave children fathered by their tor-mentors.

As a direct result of its one-child policy, China finds itself with 34 million more men than women. This fuels women-trafficking from neighbouring countries, where poverty and social discrimination make women more vulnerable. Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos are especially affected by the problem.

More than 120,000 people have been displaced by armed clashes between government forces and rebel groups in Kachin and in the northern part of Shan State – conflicts that started up again in 2011. In Kachin alone there are more than 100 refugee camps.

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