Human Traffic Watch

North Korea: Human Traffickers and the Chinese Market for Brides

In Awareness, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on August 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

But why import brides from North Korea? The answer is China’s family-planning laws. Ever since the one-child policy went into effect in 1979, Beijing has enforced it through fines, imprisonment, forced abortion, sterilization, and even, human-rights groups charge, infanticide. The policy has had its intended effect of slowing the rate of expansion of China’s population. But there has been an unwelcome side effect: an unnaturally high male-to-female ratio.

Women may hold up half the sky, in Mao Zedong’s famous phrase, but they are treated as second-class citizens in much of modern China. Many couples still favor sons, both to carry on the family name and support them in their old age. In rural areas the birth of a son heralds the arrival of an extra farmhand as soon as the boy is old enough to hold a hoe. Not so long ago in China, an unwanted baby girl might be drowned in a bucket at birth or left unattended to die. These days abortion is the preferred method, and ultrasound tests let couples find out the baby’s sex early in the pregnancy for about $12, well within the means of most couples. There are laws against using ultrasound this way, but they’re widely ignored. “Sex-selection abortion accounts for almost all the excess males,” says the British medical journal BMJ.

Source: The Daily Beast

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