A human rights group has warned that sex slavery of girls in China is a problem that will go on for decades thanks to the severe gender imbalance the country's restrictions on couples having children has brought about, speaking on Monday, the 2018 World Day against Trafficking in Persons.
Women's Rights Without Frontiers, headed by Reggie Littlejohn, who for years has been speaking out against the forced abortions that China's one-child and then two-child policies have seen, said in a press release that sex-selective abortions of baby girls continues in the Asian country.
"Now, China has an estimated 30-40 million 'bare branches' — men who will never find wives and will be unable to reproduce and carry on the family line. This alarming gender imbalance is the driving force behind sexual slavery in China," the group warned.
"This will be true for decades to come. Even if China were to eliminate all coercive birth limitations now, even if cultural son preference were magically to disappear and gender ratios at birth were to normalize going forward, the effects of these changes would not be felt for decades," it added.
As WRWF explains, the skewed gender ratio "increases the demand for prostitution and for foreign women as brides for Chinese men – both of which may be procured by force or coercion. Women and girls are kidnapped or recruited through a marriage broker and transported to China, where some are subjected to commercial sex or forced labor."
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and numerous other groups also marked the important day on Monday, warning that human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar operation that affects nearly every country in the world.
UNODC said that there are millions of men, women and children who fall victims to human trafficking every year, and that almost a third of all trafficking victims are children.
"No region or country is untouched by trafficking of children and young people, who continue to be trafficked for multiple purposes, including sexual and labor exploitation, begging, forced marriage, as soldiers, or for combined exploitative practices," the U.N. body warns.
"Traffickers also profit from large-scale movement of unaccompanied minors, and misuse new technologies to reach additional victims."
WRWF said that although human trafficking and sex slavery are indeed global issues, China is unique in how deep its gender imbalance problem goes.
"The normal ratio is 105 boys born for every 100 girls born. At its height, China's sex ratio at birth was 121 boys for every 100 girls," the group noted, explaining that this is what has created the gender imbalance and the 30 to 40 million so-called "surplus males."
The group blamed China's continued population control measures for the "hundreds of millions Chinese women" who have been "forcibly aborted," adding that "tens of millions of girls have been selectively aborted, and women from within China and throughout the world are being sucked into sexual slavery."
"China's One Child Policy has caused more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth and any other policy in human history. This is the true war against women," it stated.