Most Myanmar Trafficking Cases Involve Forced Marriage in China: Police

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 3 January 2020

Yangon – Most of the human trafficking cases reported in 2019 involved forced marriages in China, according to Myanmar’s Anti-Human Trafficking Police’s annual report.

The study said 196 human trafficking cases out of 239 (82 percent) involved trafficking to China for forced marriage, childbirth for Chinese families, labor and prostitution.

The police said 188 cases (79 percent) involved forced marriage to Chinese men. There were eight cases of forced labor, adoption, prostitution and childbirth.

In 2018, 206 trafficking cases were reported across the country, with 164 citizens trafficked to China, including 154 forced marriages to Chinese men, according to the police.

Yangon Region and Shan State reported the most cases with 65 each.

The police reported that of 358 cases last year, 297 victims were female.

It said 732 people, including 505 females, were prosecuted in relation to trafficking.

The police said there were more prosecutions to come.

Police Major Khin Maung Kwel from Yangon’s anti-trafficking task force told The Irrawaddy on Friday that poverty, lack of job opportunities and hardship were behind the trafficking issue.

He said women from other nations were also being trafficked to China for forced marriages. Human Rights Watch said in March 2019 that the proportion of women in China had fallen every year since 1987.

It estimated there were 30 to 40 million more Chinese men than women with many males in their late 30s having little prospect of marriage. The New York-based NGO said victims were sold for between US$3,000 (4.4 million kyats) and US$13,000.

The police figures are far lower than those of independent studies.

The 2018 report by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand said more than 100,000 women from Myanmar had returned from China between 2013 and 2017.

It said 7,800 returnees had been married to Chinese men, of which 5,000 were in forced marriages. The report said 3,900 of those women had been trafficked into forced marriages and 2,800 had been forced to give birth.

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