Watch the news about the problems of human trafficking in North Korea.
Video credit: ARIRANG NEWS
According to a new report by The Independant.co.uk, Tens of thousands of North Korean women and girls are sold and trafficked into the sex trade and systemically raped in China.
The report says: “Pushed from their homeland by a patriarchal regime that survives through the imposition of tyranny, poverty, and oppression, North Korean women and girls are passed through the hands of traffickers, brokers, and criminal organisations,”
“Before being pulled into China’s sex trade, where they are exploited and used by men until their bodies are depleted.”
The piece of research found a “complex and interconnected network of criminality” accrues an estimated $105 million annually from “the sale of female North Korean bodies.”
Yoon Hee-soon, the report’s author and a researcher at Korea Future Initiative, said: “The exploitation of North Korean women and girls generates annual profits of at least $105 million for the Chinese underworld. Victims are prostituted for as little as ¥30 Chinese Yuan ($4), sold as wives for just ¥1000 Chinese Yuan ($146), and trafficked into cybersex dens for exploitation by a global online audience.”
“Commonly aged between 12-29 and overwhelmingly female, victims are coerced, sold, or abducted in China or trafficked directly from North Korea. Many are sold more than once and are forced into at least one form of sexual slavery within a year of leaving their homeland.”
“Enslaved in brothels that litter satellite-towns and townships close to large urban areas in northeast China, victims are mostly aged between 15-25 and are habitually subjected to penetrative vaginal and anal rape, forced masturbation, and groping,” she added.
Researchers mentioned that forced marriage is a permanent component of the Chinese sex trade and this issue is persistent in rural areas and towns – North Korean women have been “bought, raped, exploited and enslaved” with Chinese husbands.
“Prospects for North Korean women and girls trapped in China’s multi-million-dollar sex trade are bleak,” she said.
“Many victims have perished in China, while small rescue organisations and Christian missionaries struggle to perform rescue work. Urgent and immediate action, which will run contrary to the prevailing politics of inter-Korean dialogue, is needed to save the lives of countless female North Korean refugees in China.”
It has been said in the report that women in the country are regularly forced to endure sexual violence by government officials, police, prison guards, inquiries and soldiers.
The profoundly patriarchal society means that many women are embarrassed by the abuse done by them and feel unable to demand accountability – which is not to talk due to weak law enforcement and support services.
Oh Jung-hee, a former trader in her 40’s, told researchers: “They consider us [sex] toys. We are at the mercy of men,”
“It happens so often nobody thinks it is a big deal. We don’t even realize when we are upset. But we are human, and we feel it. So sometimes, out of nowhere, you cry at night and don’t know why.”
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