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State Department Trafficking Report Blames China's "Previous" One Child Policy

By: Reggie Littlejohn, JD

Last week, the United States Department of State issued its annual Trafficking in Persons (“TIP”) report, ranking China on the Tier 2 Watch List because it is a “source, destination and transit country” for trafficked persons, and because the Chinese government, “does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking . . .” On one hand, the TIP report heavily implicates China’s One Child Policy in connection with China’s rampant sexual slavery problem:

“The Chinese government’s birth limitation policy and a cultural preference for sons create a skewed sex ratio of 117 boys to 100 girls in China, which may serve to increase the demand for prostitution and for foreign women as brides for Chinese men – both of which may be procured by forced or coercion. Women and girls are recruited through marriage brokers and transported to China, where some are subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor.”

On the other hand, the TIP Report mistakenly describes the One Child Policy as a thing of the past. Referencing a 2014 modification of the Policy, under which the Chinese government allowed couples with one parent who is an only child to have a second child, the Report states:

Academics noted the gender imbalance, due to the previous one child policy, could contribute to crimes of human trafficking in China. The government’s modification of the birth limitation policy may affect future demands for prostitution and for foreign women as brides for Chinese men.

Long a vocal critic of China’s One Child Policy, Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated: “There is nothing ‘previous’ about the One Child Policy, which is a present, terrifying reality to the women and families of China. The fact that the Chinese government tweaked the One Child Policy in 2014 merely allows a relatively small number of additional families to have a second child. This will not end forced abortion or gendercide in China. The selective abortion and abandonment of baby girls is most prevalent in the countryside, where couples already can have a second child if the first child is a girl.


This article was originally posted on Women's Rights Without Frontiers and has been re-posted with permission.

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