Oct 19, 2012

Myanmar - Big money for Burmese women who marry Chinese men

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Rangoon (Feature) – Burmese marriage brokers are seeking local women to marry men living in China, offering several thousands of dollars as incentive, according to a government anti human-trafficking unit. 

Lieutenant Colonel Nyunt Hlaing said the marriage brokers told some Burmese women that if a woman marries a Chinese man and can give birth to a baby, she can receive up to three million kyat (US$ 3,523).

“The marriage brokers openly persuaded Burmese women, saying that the women can return to Burma after giving birth. There were many young women who agreed to it and went to China. Now, it’s like a market,” Lieutenant Colonel Nyunt Hlaing said.

According to the police unit’s figures, 80 per cent of Burmese human trafficking victims were sent to China; 10 per cent to Thailand; and six per cent to Malaysia.

Often the female victims are coerced to be sex workers and child victims forced to be beggars, officials said.  

 “Many women from rural areas in China have moved to cities, so the gap between the number of men and the number of women in China is becoming larger,” said Lieutenant Colonel Nyunt Hlaing. “Because women are scarce in rural areas of China and because the amount of money which a Chinese man needs to give to a Chinese bride-to-be’s parents is higher, they try to buy young women form neighboring countries.”

There are difficulties in combating human trafficking because China still does not have anti human-trafficking law, he said. “To date, the number of human trafficking cases related to China has not markedly declined. China does not have anti human-trafficking law, so we signed an memorandum of understanding to combat human trafficking,” said Nyunt Hlaing. 

There were at least 136 human trafficking cases in Burma in 2011: 94 were related to China; 19 to Thailand; and 23 occurred in Burma. There were at least 234 human trafficking victims: 63 from Rangoon Region; 41 from northern Shan State; 36 from Mandalay Region; 26 from Kachin State, 25 from Bago [Pegu] Region; 17 from Ayeyarwady [Irrawaddy] Region; 16 from Kayin [Karen] State and 10 from Mon State. 

An anti-human-trafficking law has been in effect in Burma since September 13, 2005.

According to the annual report released by the anti-human-trafficking unit, 23 per cent of the victims in Burma in 2011 were children.

In 2011, 265 human trafficking victims were rescued; 61 of them were children. 52 girls were among the 61 children.

Most of the human trafficking cases were in northern Shan State, but most of the traffickers were arrested in Rangoon Region, according to the report. 

83 per cent of the human trafficking victims were female. The largest number of the cases was related to forced marriage and the second largest number was related to prostitution, according to the figures compiled by the anti-human-trafficking unit.

Yadanar Oo

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