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China and Human Trafficking|
The Peoples' Republic of China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. A significant number of Chinese women and children are trafficked internally for forced marriage and forced labor. Chinese women are at times lured abroad with false promises of legitimate employment and then trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to destinations throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America, while Chinese men have been trafficked for forced labor to Europe, South America, and the Middle East. A large number of Chinese men and women are smuggled abroad at enormous personal financial cost and, upon arrival in the destination country, are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation or other forms of exploitative labor to repay their debts. They often face exploitative conditions that meet the definition of involuntary servitude. Women from Burma, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Mongolia are trafficked to China for labor and commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage.
Internal trafficking was a significant problem. The Ministry of Public Security estimated that at least 9,000 women and 1,000 children were kidnapped and sold illegally each year. Some experts suggested that the demand for abducted women was fueled by the shortage of marriageable brides, particularly in rural areas. The serious imbalance in the male-female sex ratio at birth, the tendency for many village women to leave rural areas to seek employment, and the cost of traditional betrothal gifts all made purchasing a bride attractive to some poor rural families. Some families recruited brides from economically less advanced areas. Others sought help from criminal gangs, which either kidnapped women and girls or tricked them by promising them jobs and an easier way of life and then transporting them far from their home areas for delivery to buyers. Once in their new "family," these women were "married" and raped. Some accepted their fate and joined the new community; others struggled and were punished.
Citizens were trafficked from the country for sexual exploitation and indentured servitude in domestic service, sweatshops, restaurants, and other services. There were reports that citizens were trafficked to Australia, Belgium, Burma, Canada, Hungary, Italy, Japan (illegal immigrants held in debt bondage), Malaysia, the Netherlands (for the purpose of sexual exploitation), Singapore, Sri Lanka (for sexual exploitation), Taiwan, the United Kingdom (for sexual exploitation), and the United States.
Chinese Government Efforts
In 2004, the Chinese Government funded programs operated by an NGO to reintegrate trafficked women into their local communities and relieve the stigma attached to trafficking victims. The Chinese Government reportedly allocated funds to provincial and local police departments to use in returning trafficking victims to their hometowns. Some government agencies also provided basic living necessities and return assistance. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) continued to train police officers on how to handle trafficking-related crimes. The MPS reportedly eliminated special anti-trafficking police units and subsumed their duties into general law enforcement units but its national office for trafficking crimes remains in place.
The Chinese Government expanded its efforts to raise awareness of trafficking in 2004. The government cooperated with the Vietnamese Government and UNICEF on a mass communications effort to educate people and local government leaders on trafficking. Through its law enforcement agencies and its school systems, the government continued its awareness campaigns to warn of the potential dangers of trafficking. Posters, videos and pamphlets are distributed throughout the country.
It was Central Government policy to provide funds to provincial and local police to house victims and return them to their homes. Government-funded women's federation offices provided counseling on legal rights, including the options for legal action against traffickers, to some victims.
Nongovernmental & International Organizations' Efforts
The All-China Women's Federation assisted Chinese victims in obtaining medical and psychological treatment.
In the last two years, China has been engaging with the five other countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) to address trafficking. China and Vietnam have launched a campaign to curb human trafficking in 2004.