China is a main source and also a significant transit and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labour and forced prostitution. According to the United Nations Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons of , as part of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, human trafficking involves "recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons" by "the use of force or other means of coercion" with the "purpose of exploitation". The Protocol further explains "exploitation" as, at a minimum, "the sex work of others" and "other forms of sexual exploitation". A person is considered a "trafficked victim if he or she is involved in the above-mentioned situations, regardless of whether the person consents to it or not.
2020 Trafficking in Persons Report: China
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Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. I did not know where to run away…I realized that I was trafficked. From that time on, I planned to learn basic Chinese [language] and find ways to run. The difficulty many Chinese men now face finding wives, combined with a lack of protections in China, is driving a brutal business of selling women and girls from neighboring countries.
China’s Bride Trafficking Problem
Despite the lack of significant efforts, the government took some steps to address trafficking, including by prosecuting and convicting some traffickers, and by continuing to cooperate with international authorities to address forced and fraudulent marriages in the PRC, a key trafficking vulnerability for foreign women and girls. However, during the report period there was a government policy or pattern of widespread forced labor, including through the continued mass arbitrary detention of more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and other Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Xinjiang. Authorities also expanded the campaign into other provinces, began implementing it among other religious minorities, and sought the coerced repatriation and internment of religious and ethnic minorities living abroad. For the third consecutive year, the government did not report identifying any trafficking victims or referring them to protective services. Abolish the arbitrary detention and forced labor of persons in internment camps and affiliated manufacturing sites in Xinjiang and other provinces and immediately release and pay restitution to the individuals detained therein.
Sex trafficking in China is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the People's Republic of China. China, the world's most populous country, has the second highest number of human trafficking victims in the world. Sex trafficking victims in the country are from all ethnic groups in China and foreigners.