They’re running away from a terrible situation. However, they are unaware that they will soon end up the victims of another nightmare. Thousands of North Korean women, very young and often underage, are sold as sex slaves in China. Forced to destroy their dignity for fear of repercussions on their families, these women become prostitutes. Furthermore, if they try to rebel, they are abused, mistreated and sometimes reduced to dying.
The Shocking Report
Denouncing this situation on the edge of humanity is the Korea Future Initiative, a non-profit organization based in London. In a shock report it also speaks of eleven or twelve-year-old girls forced to sell their bodies, kept segregated with little water and food.
Such human trafficking would involve over 200,000 women. 60% of these women are taken as refugees in China, but the remaining 40% are kidnapped and taken to another country against their will. As a result, they end up in the sex-for-hire circuit. This market is worth more than 100 million dollars a year to the torturers, who run criminal organizations.
The Destiny of North Korean Women in China
When they arrive in China, North Korean women find no comfort and peace of mind waiting for them. They are either sold as prostitutes or forced to marry Chinese businessmen who treat them like slaves. According to KFI, these girls are between 12 and 29 years old, but often younger. They are forced to prostitute themselves for about 30 yuan (about $4) and are sold for 1000 yuan (almost $145). Some end up in brothels in the northeastern districts of China and others in the online sex market. Girls – some are only 9 years old – and women in the online sex industry must perform sexual acts in front of webcams.
But even those who become wives do not have an easy life. The torturers are the husbands who often, after raping them, make money off their bodies by forcing them into paid sex. Moreover, most of the people who buy future wives are men living in rural areas, who can abuse them as much as they want once the purchase is complete.
According to the KFI, this is a highly profitable illegal industry. It involves brokers, human traffickers, public officials and clients, who pay to buy, rape and sexually assault women and girls. Those who try to escape or rebel against red-light displays in front of a webcam get harassment. And those who manage to escape and return to North Korea cannot find peace. On the contrary, they end up in a vortex of endless abuse again.