China’s one-child policy and a cultural preference for boys means that the world’s most populous country has a severe shortage of women. That means a severe shortage of brides. And that means a human trafficking crisis.
Kiab, a Vietnamese girl who had just turned 16, was told by her brother that he was taking her to a party. Instead, he sold her as a bride to a Chinese man.
The ethnic Hmong teenager spent nearly a month in China until she was able to escape her new husband, seek help from local police and return to Vietnam.
“My brother is no longer a human being in my eyes ― he sold his own sister to China,” Kiab, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, told AFP [Agence France-Presse] at a shelter for trafficking victims in the Vietnamese border town Lao Cai.
Vulnerable women in countries close to China ― not only Vietnam but also North Korea, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar ― are being forced into marriages in the land of the one-child policy, experts say.