Dark Side of the Moon: Woman Trafficking in China
Mentor:Dr. Rebecca Hatch, Professor of Sociology, Mt. San Antonio College
The People’s Republic of China is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking; the majority of which are women. Every year, tens of thousands of Chinese women are trafficked from the rural areas in the West to the major cities on the East Coast. The One Child Policy implemented in the early 1980s has created an uneven sex ratio, resulting in 120 males per 100 females (average sex ratio is 105 males per 100 females). The disparity in the sex ratio (a surplus of 40 million males) has resulted in tens of thousands of young girls trafficked and sold each year to fulfill the demand for marriageable females. Massive internal migration in China due to rapid economic growth, along with the lack of education among rural females, have provided an opportunity for traffickers to lure victims into prostitution, forced marriage, and forced labor. No single complete dataset exists to track these numbers. This research attempts to analyze statistics from multiple data sets in order to determine whether or not the human trafficking “awareness-raising” programs instituted by the Chinese government and NGOs since 2002, have been successful at reducing trafficking of women in China. This study combining data from the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations shows a significant decrease in numbers of women trafficked across China in the past decade. This analysis is an indication such programs have successfully reduced the trafficking of women. These results also indicate that changes in current immigration policies by the Chinese government, such as lessening the restrictions on the socioeconomic status of immigrants, may further curtail the risk of trafficking in the course of migration into and within China. In addition, the continuation and expansion of current awareness programs should be encouraged.