Cross-Border Trafficking: Bride Trafficking For Forced Marriage Becoming Major Issue

14 March 2019

Among the cross-border trafficking cases, bride trafficking for forced marriage is becoming a major issue.

A discussion on bride trafficking and forced marriage in Shan State was conducted on Thursday in Yangon. Myanmar women have been trafficked to China which has the imbalanced gender ratios for forced marriage with the purpose of child bearing. John Hopkins University and KWAT made a report on the Myanmar female returnee from china within four districts in Kachin State and Northern Shan State, proving data that Myanmar women have been trafficked to China for forced marriage for bearing children.

Founder, Eden Myanmar, Lisa Samuelsen said “So, if we knew that there was going to be another hurricane Nagis, if we knew that we will be preparing all of the organization, the government, they will be preparing for this disaster, they would be mobilizing services in order to cope with is oncoming disaster. What we see in the statistic, there will be 25% Chinese men who are unable to find a wife by 2030. This is an oncoming disaster.”

According to the studies, most of the victims of bribe trafficking were having little knowledge of trafficking due to their socio-economic background. An independent researcher who had done a study in northern Shan state spoke out his view on the issues.

Researcher, Kim Jolliffee said “I think that the socio-economic background is one of the causes, lack of education, lack of economical opportunities for the family is major reason.” “Most people don’t know where to go if they face problem like a crime.” “And so sometimes, people along with poverty, insecurity, lack of education, and having no one to tend to, no kind of government or system to protect them. They are very vulnerable to be in the traffick in this kind of situation.”

The returnees who had been sold for forced marriage usually suffer the trauma and that’s why the proper care with psycho counseling is necessary, Eden Myanmar Founder said. 

Founder, Eden Myanmar, Lisa Samuelsen said “There will always be trauma involved and the survivors are always extremely traumatized. So there needs to be more training, there needs to be much great increase of female police officers who are trained in trauma-informed care to take the statements of these returnee women.” “Within the Myanmar culture context, it is extremely difficult for a Myanmar woman to talk about rape or sexual exploitation, or those things to a male stranger.”

The study of Hopkins and KWAT point out the suggestion to policy makers to regulate and monitor the migration agents, recruitment agencies and marriage brokers and to promote policies for Myanmar migrant workers’ rights in China in order to prevent the further happening of bribe trafficking and forced marriage.