By Gaurav Sharma
Beijing, Dec 7 (IANS) Thousands of Myanmarese women who have fled or have been trafficked from the country deep in internal conflict are forced to marry Chinese men and bear their children, according to a study.
About 65 per cent of women in forced marriages were trafficked through a broker or recruiter, according to the research by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Kachin Women’s Association Thailand.
There are more than 7,500 such women in China now, the study said.
“This points to problems such as lack of documentation, ongoing conflict in ethnic minority areas (in Myanmar), migration usually without documents into China, work without contracts, marriages without licences and children without proper registration when they are born,” Courtland Robinson, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the study’s lead author, was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.
All of this leads to forced marriage, coercion and various forms of violence and exploitation, he said.
China has highly skewed sex ratio due the decades-long one-child policy which was relaxed to two in 2016.
There are about 34 million more men than women in the country due to the one-child policy that fuelled bride trafficking from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and North Korea.
Myanmar is an impoverished nation with ethnic conflict and human rights and unemployment plaguing the country.
The study, due to be presented in Bangkok on Friday, found that Myanmarese women were increasingly at risk of trafficking and forced marriage because they often lack proper documentation, language skills and education.
The findings also highlight the dilemma faced by more than 5,000 mothers forced to bear a child, with many feeling unable to leave their marriage regardless of their treatment by their husband, the Post said.