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Human Trafficking of North Korean Women
Reasons North Korean women get involved
"Either starve in NK or be sold into slavery in China"/Knowingly involving themselves in trafficking scheme as the "better of two evils"
North Korean men often are the ones doing the selling
About 1.9 million people are dependent on food aid
in North Korea
Estimated 2 million died in the famine of the early 90s
Deception by Chinese gangs/traffickers who trick NK women into slavery
Often NK defectors have some contact in China or person they want to find, and the traffickers trick them into thinking they can help find them
"The police are looking for you! Here, come with me and I'll help you escape!"
Offered jobs in China, only to be tricked/forced into an unexpected job after the fact; Blackmail often involved
"Internet sex industry"
Hostesses in nightclubs/karaoke bars
Forced marriages to Chinese men
NK women do not speak Chinese, as is most often the case
Drugged or kidnapped after being singled out by NK-Chinese/other trafficking networks
(After, of course, defecting on their own/finding their own way into China)
Chinese attitudes on North Korean women
Shortage of women in China, so poorer men will go for unconventional "brides"
Chinese Govt. views North Korean defectors as illegal immigrants rather than refugees
Often NK defectors will be returned to NK imprisoned in Chinese prison
Does not allow the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to get involved
Estimated 70% of defectors living in China are women
Is it being fought in any way?
Christian groups which relocate NK defectors to South Korea
Christian groups also try to sneak food across the border, which may make the "reason to flee
(to be sold into slavery)" slightly less of a justification for NK women?
NK government does not acknowledge it as a problem; does nothing to stop it
NK defectors claim traffickers have been punished in NK; but no laws indicate they were prosecuted for trafficking specifically
Repatriated North Koreans who have been trafficked in NK are punished/sent to NK prison camps; those pregnant are subject to forced abortion or infanticide
(This is, of course, in contrast to protecting those who have become victims of sexual abuse/trafficking)
Chinese government does not really take action to combat it, either
Policy of punishing/deports any NK found