China: Ethnic Women from Myanmar Trafficked for Marriage
Thursday, September 4, 2014 8:50 PM

Trafficking in women from Myanmar for forced marriages in China has increased due to a strong demand for women of marriageable age. Polices that limit the number of children Chinese couples may have, combined with “a cultural preference for male children” has led to 118 male births for every 100 female children born in China. By 2020, the number of marriageable men in China will outnumber young women by 24 million.

Women who are members of minority ethnic communities in Myanmar and who live near the border with China are particularly vulnerable to trafficking for forced marriage. Many of these women travel to China in search of work due to escalating conflict and poverty back home in Myanmar. They lack official identification and are “quick to trust others," according to an anti-trafficking coordinator for the ethnic Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT). Of 163 trafficking cases documented by KWAT in 2008, most involved ethnic women who were forced to marry farmers in China.

Women who escape forced marriages in China and return to Myanmar are often reluctant to talk about their experience due to fear of rejection and ostracism by their communities. 

Compiled from: Wegner, Nina, A forced bride: 'We survive for each day:' Kachin women who venture into China for work are vulnerable to falling prey to abductors looking for marriage, Al-Jazeera (August 9, 2014).