China is not a safe country. People are often forced to work, and women and children are pushed into prostitution. In fact, the country is one of the biggest problems for global human trafficking, and it affects the entire region.
Here, we will take a closer look at this Asian country and how its problem of forced labor, prostitution, and trafficking is affecting the entire world.
What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the trading of humans for slavery, forced labor, sexual exploitation, and other reasons. This can also include forced marriages and even organ harvesting. The trade doesn’t need to include moving people from one place to another, and it can happen both internationally and within a country.
Even though it is an illegal and highly condemned illegal action, human trafficking is still the third biggest crime industry. It is behind drugs and arms trafficking only. Since forced marriages fall in this category as well, China is one of the leaders in the field. Women from neighboring countries are brought to China, and they are forced to marry local men.
Sometimes, they are promised work; sometimes, they are not. But the outcome is always the same. Now, whether these marriages are a problem or not is an important question. Some women report that they got used to life in China and that they would prefer to stay there, for example, so the answer might not be easy to find.
Women as the Common Victim
As with the previous example, it is more than obvious that women are often victims of human trafficking. But forced marriages are not the only problem women face. China is known for forced labor, and, depending on the industry, women are often the target.
In general, though, China is the primary source for women, children, and men alike, and at the same time, it is a transit location for many of the victims. People here are used mostly for prostitution and labor, or they are sent to other countries like Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, and others.
China human trafficking is a serious problem for the country and the surrounding areas. The most affected countries are China, Russia, Romania, Pakistan, and others.
Prostitution and Foreign Women
Keep in mind that Chinese women are not the only victims here. We already mentioned forced marriages, and women are trafficked from all over the world. China prostitution was strictly forbidden for quite a while. But in the eighties, it managed to find its place back in the country.
Over the years, it grew significantly, as much as for people to consider it industry in China. Furthermore, it spread across the entire country, and you can spot signs of prostitution in both cities and villages.
Of course, prostitution is illegal in China. At least in theory. However, there are a few cities that claim that massages with happy endings are somehow different, and they are legal.
Girls and women from rural parts of the country are taken to the urban areas, and they are forced to become a part of a prostitution crime ring. As for non-Chinese women, the most common victims come from neighboring countries, Africa, and the Americas.
Prostitution and Disabled People
Besides forced brides from Myanmar, foreign women, children, and organ trafficking, China is also targeting disabled people. In fact, there is a significant amount of disabled people who are victims of trafficking.
Sometimes, these people are used for forced labor. In other cases, it is sex-related. Even though over 400 suspects were arrested in 2016, the problem remains. Eliminating a couple of involved people from the equation seems like trying to put out a forest fire using a glass of water.
People with disabilities are often the target, and traffickers will target deaf and mute children, as well as those with mental disabilities. Usually, parents of these children left them with relatives while they moved to urban areas in search of a better life.
It would be wrong to say that the law in China is the problem. After all, it is clearly stated that prostitution, forced labor, trafficking, and other things we mentioned here are illegal and punishable by law. But the main problem is that the industry has become so huge that not many people are willing to do anything about it.
Even though other countries have demanded better laws, investigations, prosecutions, and punishments, it seems that the government is not willing to invest in fighting against criminal organizations.
In theory, there are a few plans to combat trafficking, but it remains to be seen whether it is just another parade designed for the West or if the country really plans on putting an end to these horrifying activities.
There are numerous anti-human trafficking and anti-prostitution organization across the world. One of the recommended methods is to focus on the education and improvement of these communities, especially if we are talking about China. People here are not educated enough. Children in this country have little to no knowledge about sexual offenses, and the country needs to work on spreading awareness of the problem.
At the same time, the surrounding countries need to work on solving the problem as well. They need to ensure that the residents are safe and that they will prosecute the offenders.