November 30, 2017 12:10
A new book details the plight of female North Korean defectors hiding in China. The book is based on interviews with 100 North Korean women conducted from September 2016 to May this year.
Their testimony suggests that more than two-thirds left the North against their will due to abduction, fraudulent job offers and human trafficking. Their brokers were paid anywhere between 6,000 yuan to 70,000 yuan, often to sell them into indentured labor or prostitution.
Most had spent many years in China.
They testified that they were subjected to forced marriage, rape, unwanted pregnancies, disease, forced labor and prostitution, and once married they were beaten and otherwise abused by their Chinese husbands and their families.
"North Korean women are not treated as human beings," one said, and another added, "We are like child-bearing machines."
Most could not leave and try to go to South Korea because of the children they had with Chinese men.
The book describes the women as "hostages of a divided nation" and suggests that diplomatic measures, medical and mental health support, aid for their children and crackdowns on human traffickers are urgently needed.
It urges the South Korean government to come up with a new approach to helping female North Korean defectors who come from China.
More than 70 percent of the 30,000 North Korean defectors now living in South Korea are women, and most of them have experienced life in China.
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