North Korea: Sex Trafficking of North Korean Refugees in China
Friday, September 20, 2019 10:55 AM

A recent New York Times article details the disturbing experiences of young North Korean women who are lured to China by human traffickers promising of a new life of freedom. These women are initially promised jobs in China and South Korea, where they are told they can escape adverse living conditions and send money back to their families. Instead, they are sold into sex slavery and forced marriages.

Around 60 percent of the North Korean women who have fled to China are thought to have been forced into sex trafficking and held in captivity. While some of these women have been rescued, Chinese smugglers continue to take advantage of the women in North Korea, taking them on long, dangerous journeys on foot, drugging them, and locking them in small apartments with no escape. If they do not comply with the traffickers’ demands, they are beaten and starved.

The report does not describe the Chinese government’s efforts, if any, to halt and prevent this problem. Rather, the majority of rescue operations are left in the hands of concerned civilians.

Compiled from: Sang-Hun, Chloe, After Fleeing North Korea, Women Get Trapped as Cybersex Slaves in China, The New York Times (September 13, 2019).