Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 35–52 | Cite as

Trafficking of Myanmar women for forced marriage in China

  • Geping Qiu
  • Sheldon X. ZhangEmail author
  • Weidi Liu


Trafficking of foreign women into China for forced marriage, once unheard of in China, has ceased to surprise the general public with frequent news stories about women from Vietnam, Myanmar, and North Korea being deceived and sold as brides into the interior of China. Using data extracted from official sources in the Chinese judicial system, we analyzed a total of 73 court cases involving 184 Myanmar women who were trafficked into China, spanning a period of 13 years (2003 through 2016). We found people of diverse backgrounds participated in the trafficking business, most were of low education and unemployed or underemployed. Little formal organizational structures appeared to be needed in these trafficking activities. The vast majority of traffickers were Chinese nationals, who seemed well-connected with the cross-border trade as well as traditional matchmaking business. Most trafficking occurred under the guise of employment opportunities, in which Myanmar women were offered jobs in interior China. The majority of victims appeared to have been recruited from inside Myanmar, and wound up being trafficked to three Chinese provinces (Henan, Anhui, and Shandong). Policy implications as well as Data limitations are also discussed.



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Criminal JusticeChina Eastern University of Political Science and LawShanghaiChina
  2. 2.School of Criminology and Justice StudiesUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

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