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Tens of thousands of North Korean women and girls are actively trafficked into the Chinese sex trade by criminal organizations, and are often forced to endure “systematic rape, sex trafficking, sexual slavery, sexual abuse, prostitution, cybersex trafficking, forced marriage and forced pregnancy,” according to a new report.
Following an extensive investigation, the Korea Future Initiative found that victims are “commonly aged between 12-29 and overwhelmingly female.” Many of them are sold more than once, and are “forced into at least one form of sexual slavery within a year of leaving their homeland.”
Sex trafficking and exploitation is a $105,000,000 per year business for the Chinese underworld, according to the report.
“Victims are prostituted for as little as ¥30 Chinese Yuan ($4 United States Dollars), sold as wives for just ¥1000 Chinese Yuan ($146 United States Dollars), and trafficked into cybersex dens for exploitation by a global online audience.”
“Pushed from their homeland by a patriarchal regime that survives through the imposition of tyranny, poverty, and oppression, North Korean women and girls are passed through the hands of traffickers, brokers, and criminal organisations” according to the London-based Korea watchdog group.
According to the report’s author, Yoon Hee-soon, prostitution has overtaken forced marriage as the “primary pathway” into the sex trade for North Korean women and girls.
“Enslaved in brothels that litter satellite-towns and townships close to large urban areas in northeast China, victims are mostly aged between 15-25 and are habitually subjected to penetrative vaginal and anal rape, forced masturbation, and groping,” said Hee-soon.
Girls as young as nine are forced to perform graphic cybersex acts and are sexually assaulted in front of webcams which are streamed to a global audience.
“Prospects for North Korean women and girls trapped in China’s multi-million-dollar sex trade are bleak,” said the report’s author, adding “Many victims have perished in China, while small rescue organisations and Christian missionaries struggle to perform rescue work. Urgent and immediate action, which will run contrary to the prevailing politics of inter-Korean dialogue, is needed to save the lives of countless female North Korean refugees in China.”
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