Those Who Flee: The Bride-Trafficking of North Korean Refugee Women

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The following is an excerpt from the article “Trafficked: Domestic Violence, Exploitation in Marriage, and the Foreign-Bride Industry,” published in Volume 51, Issue 2 of the Virginia Journal of International Law (2010). The full article is available here.

The Experiences of Trafficked Foreign Brides in Northeast China

A.         The Sale of North Korean Refugee Women into Enslaved Marriages with Chinese Men

China is a country of origin, transit, and destination for human trafficking.[3] The majority of domestic trafficking cases in China involve sex exploitation, forced labor, and forced marriage.[4] Ninety percent of China’s domestic trafficking cases involve trafficked women and children.[5] Of the tens of thousands of North Korean refugees hiding in China, in 2008, it was estimated that a disproportionate number, nearly two-thirds of the refugee population, were women.[6] Of these women, 70 to 80 percent of North Korean refugee women are trafficked into forced marriages, commercial sex exploitation, and exploitative labor.[7] More recently, North Korean refugee women have also been forced into Internet stripping.[8] Attributing increased incidents of trafficking to the increasing profitability of selling North Korean women, an aid worker estimated in 2010 that women make up 80 percent of North Korean refugees in China and that more than 90 percent of North Korean refugee women become victims of trafficking.[9]

This Section presents the case of North Korean refugee women in China who are recruited, transferred, and sold to Chinese men for the purposes of marriage. The Section explores why North Korean refugee women flee North Korea, their experiences upon entering China, and their experiences of enslaved marriage with Chinese men.

1.     Why North Koreans Flee North Korea

JILIN-MAPUnderstanding the plight of North Korean refugee women in China requires an understanding of the political situation in North Korea — a highly oppressive country, home to perhaps the worst human rights crisis in the world.[10] North Korea’s human rights calamity is a product of decades of autocratic rule that mandates total adherence and loyalty to the deified “great leader,” Kim Jong Il.[11] Closely monitored by Kim Jong Il’s regime, the North Korean people are punished for any alleged signs of “defection,” in violation of their right to free thought.[12] Such punishment comes in the form of imprisonment without charge or trial in North Korea’s “gulags” or internment camps, torture, forced labor, starvation, and often death.[13] Additionally, more than 2.5 million North Koreans were killed by mass starvation in the late 1990s as a result of a constructed famine of food non-distribution that aimed to silence challenges to Kim Jong Il’s regime and to exert maximum control over the North Korean people.[14] Continued and staggering hunger in North Korea is only made worse by the country’s failed economy.[15] Thus, “[c]hronic food shortages, political repression, and poverty have driven tens of thousands of North Koreans into China.”[16]

Two-thirds of North Korean refugees hiding in China are women.[17] The high ratio of North Korean refugee women is likely the product of geographic proximity,[18] “demographic advantage” (the fact that women are more likely to survive severe food shortages and famine),[19] gender discrimination, and the “feminization of poverty.”[20] First, the majority of North Korean refugees come from the northern Hamgŏyng provinces,[21] which were most severely affected by the mass-starvations of the late-1990s, partly because of allegations that North Koreans in these provinces were critical of Kim Jong Il’s regime.[22] As survival rates from famine and continuous food deficit are higher for women than for men,[23] the combination of geographic proximity and demographic advantage contributes to the disproportionate representation of both female-headed households in Hamgyŏng and of North Korean refugee women in China.

Second, the flight of many North Korean refugee women may be further compelled by the “feminization of poverty.”[24] As there are likely more female-headed households in the Hamgyŏng provinces because of the disproportionate number of women in this region, and as gender, class, and political discrimination in North Korea limit economic opportunities for North Korean women,[25] the need for North Korean women to support their households may further contribute to their flight and to the substantial representation of women among North Korean refugees in China.

2.     Experiences of North Korean Refugee Women upon Entering China

North Korean refugee women who have fled from North Korea to China are extremely vulnerable to exploitation, deportation, imprisonment, and death, as well as to traffickers who manipulate and profit from these vulnerabilities.[26] Crossing into Northeast China, a relatively poor and underdeveloped region,[27] North Korean refugees face constant fear of arrest and deportation.[28] In 2007, before the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, China intensified its crackdown on North Korean refugees, installing electronic sensors along the border, raiding homes, fining and imprisoning Chinese residents who were harboring refugees, and offering rewards for informants who identified North Korean refugees.[29] At present, North Korean and Chinese law enforcement continue to patrol the North Korea–China borderlands, shooting North Koreans on sight[30] or arresting and deporting North Koreans.[31] Deported North Korean refugees face internment or death upon deportation to North Korea as punishment for their treasonous flight.[32] Upon deportation, North Korean refugee women face additional risks of forced abortion, infanticide, or separation from older children, as the North Korean regime denounces marriages between North Korean women and Chinese men and may not allow entry of Chinese-Korean children.[33]

China’s deportation of North Koreans violates the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention),[34] which classifies North Koreans as refugees entitled to asylum, safe haven, and protection,[35] as well as the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT),[36] which prohibits deportation when torture is a likely consequence.[37] Despite China’s obligations under international treaty law, China maintains a policy of classifying North Korean refugees as “economic migrants” and continues to deport North Korean refugees because of their alleged threat to China’s economy.[38] Moreover, China continues to deny outside access to these borderlands, despite its obligations under the Refugee Convention and despite the pleas of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and international relief agencies.[39] In 2008 and 2009, the U.S. State Department reported that China continues to ignore the trafficking of North Korean women within its borders and that China refuses to provide legal alternatives to the unlawful deportation of North Korean refugees.[40]

In addition to law enforcement, two types of traffickers — marriage brokers and pimps — target North Korean refugee women almost immediately after they cross the border into China, and sometimes even before they leave North Korea.[41] Traffickers exploit China’s deportation policy, the fear of torture and internment in North Korea, and the absence of UNHCR presence in Northeast China in order to recruit, imprison, transport, transfer, sell, and often recapture and resell North Korean refugee women into forced labor, prostitution, and enslaved marriage.[42] Third-party traffickers or “brokers” are paid between $120 and $1890 (USD) for their North Korean bride-slaves.[43] Chinese women, by comparison, are sold for $3780 to $6300 (USD).[44] These amounts are substantial for poor Chinese farmers, many of whom face long-term debt for the cost of purchasing their bride.[45]

In one area of Northeast China, the male to female ratio among those of marriageable age is estimated to be 14:1, driving substantial demand for North Korean “bride-slaves”[46] who are sold by marriage-broker-traffickers into forced marriages with Chinese men.[47] The significant imbalances in the population in Northeast China can be attributed to several socioeconomic forces, including female infanticide and selective female abortion due to China’s “one-child policy” and the country’s historic preference for male children,[48] and economic migration to urban areas of the country, where light-industry employers have a preference for hiring young Chinese women.[49] The men who remain in China’s rural northeast region are consequently disproportionately unmarried, ill, disabled, or suffering from alcohol and gambling addiction.[50]

Traffickers initiate contact with North Korean women in North Korea or upon crossing into China[51] and often lie about work opportunities in China.[52] Other traffickers live along the border, speak both Korean and Chinese, and pretend to offer sympathy and help while brokering enslaved marriages.[53] Some traffickers employ “runners” to notify them when North Korean refugee women cross into China.[54] In some instances, North Korean refugee women are drugged in transit by their traffickers.[55] In others, North Korean refugee women are forced into marriages with Korean-Chinese and Chinese men by their own neighbors and relatives, who receive payment in exchange.[56] In many cases, North Korean refugee women may know that they will be sold into marriage, but they may not realize how harsh the conditions will be,[57] or they may believe that they have no other options for survival.

3.     Experiences of North Korean Women in Enslaved Marriages

Once trafficked into enslaved marriages, North Korean refugee women experience psychological and physical violence from their new “enslaving husbands and families,”[58] who obtain total power and control over the lives, movement, labor, reproductive rights, and bodies of their new bride-slaves. Even if trafficked North Korean women are able to flee from their enslaved marriages, they face ongoing risks of arrest, deportation, and repeat trafficking.[59] Enslaving husbands maintain power and control over their bride-slaves through threats of arrest and deportation, intimidation, geographic and cultural isolation, emotional abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, and threats against their children. Figure 3 presents the immigrant power and control wheel as it relates to trafficked North Korean bride-slaves in China, depicting modes of abuse, manipulation, and violence used to obtain power and control over foreign brides.[60]

Figure 3: Power and Control Wheel (as It Relates to Trafficked North Korean Bride-Slaves in China)[61]

power and control wheel

In 2005, Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights found that 60 to 70 percent of trafficked North Korean women experience physical and mental violence.[62] Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group have expressed concern that North Korean bride-slaves are subjected to severe domestic violence and are unable to escape or report their situations because of their illegal status in China.[63] The power and control that enslaving husbands exert over their trafficked brides reinforce the real and substantial likelihood that North Korean bride-slaves experience domestic violence in their enslaved marriages.

Already isolated, North Korean bride-slaves are also often trafficked into rural areas of Northeast China, making flight, relief, and support networks nearly impossible.[64] While a large Korean-Chinese population in Northeast China often fosters assimilation, the challenges of language and cultural barriers still remain. Moreover, while some new “family members” and neighbors protect North Korean enslaved brides from arrest and repatriation,[65] it is often difficult for North Korean refugees to truly become part of a family or community because they are often objectified and controlled as slaves, outsiders, and animals.[66] Ultimately, the continued threat and fear of deportation, risks of repeat trafficking,[67] forced pregnancy, the desire to protect and retain custody of their children, geographic isolation, physical restraints,[68] and continued emotional abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder dating back to their experiences in North Korea paralyze North Korean bride-slaves and prevent flight.[69] In fact, Professor Chang’s survey shows that while relatively few North Korean refugees wish to remain in China — rather, most want to resettle permanently in South Korea — North Korean refugee women tend to remain in China for longer durations than North Korean refugee men, likely indicating that some women had been sold into enslaved marriage and other forms of servitude and were therefore unable to realize their original intent to leave China.[70]

North Korean bride-slaves are physically and sexually exploited by their enslaving husbands as domestic laborers, sex slaves, and for their reproductive capacities.[71] As the Chinese government does not recognize marriages between trafficked North Korean refugee women and Chinese men, North Korean women are unable to obtain the proper shēnfènzhèng (ID card) or hùkǒu (residence permit) to obtain employment in China.[72] As a result, some trafficked bride-slaves are forced to work at home, while others are forced to work illegally outside of the home and give their wages to their husbands,[73] thereby centralizing economic power and control with enslaving husbands. Some trafficked North Korean bride-slaves end up pursuing prostitution to earn money to fulfill the needs or debts of their enslaving husbands and families.[74] Granted, the level of violence and exploitation depends on the enslaving husband and enslaving family. However, there have been cases where North Korean bride-slaves have faced forced pregnancy, and there have also been cases where North Korean women were forced by their enslaving husbands and families to abort their children or undergo hysterectomies, often under unsterile conditions, because the enslaving husband and family did not want the additional burden of another child.[75] Forced pregnancy, forced abortion, and forced hysterectomies are all forms of abuse, violence, and control over the reproductive rights, bodily integrity, and liberties of North Korean women.

Additionally, where North Korean bride-slaves do have children, enslaving husbands and families may use their children to assert power and control over their bride-slaves. While children born to Chinese men may be registered as legal citizens under the child’s Chinese father’s name, thereby entitling children to education and other national benefits,[76] enslaving husbands often fail to register their children. The failure to register North Korean-Chinese children produces “stateless children” who are technically Chinese citizens but face fear of deportation to North Korea due to their maternity, the denial of repatriation from North Korea, and separation from their mothers due to their paternity.[77] Thus, when North Korean bride-slaves do have children, enslaving husbands and families may leverage the welfare and status of such stateless children to maintain power and control and to psychologically and physically abuse and exploit North Korean bride-slaves.

In sum, North Korean refugee women experience psychological and physical violence, abuse, and exploitation from their new enslaving husbands and families, who obtain total power and control over their lives, bodies, and rights. As discussed in Part III, this recruitment, sale, and transfer of North Korean refugee women to Chinese men for the purposes of exploitation in marriage constitutes trafficking under international law.

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[1]. See Human Trafficking: Mail Order Bride Abuses: Hearing Before Subcomm. on E. Asian & Pac. Affairs of the S. Comm. on Foreign Relations, 108th Cong. 18 (2004) (statement of Michele A. Clark, Co-Director, Protection Project of the Foreign Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins University) [hereinafter Clark Statement]; Christine S.Y. Chun, Comment, The Mail-Order Bride Industry: The Perpetuation of Transnational Economic Inequalities and Stereotypes, 17 U. Pa. J. Int’l Econ. L. 1155, 1167 (1996); Christina Del Vecchio, Note, Match-Made in Cyberspace: How Best to Regulate the International Mail-Order Bride Industry, 46 Colum. J. Transnat’l L. 177, 188 (2007).

[2]. See Clark Statement, supra note 49, at 18; Chun, supra note 49, at 1167; Del Vecchio, supra note 49, at 188.

[3]. U.S. Cong. Exec. Comm’n on China, 110th Cong., Annual Report 118 (2008) [hereinafter U.S. Cong. Report].

[4]. U.S. Dep’t of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 91–94 (2008) [hereinafter TIP Report 2008].

[5]. U.S. Dep’t of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 91 (2006) [hereinafter TIP Report 2006].

[6]. Yoonok Chang et al., Migration Experiences of North Korean Refugees: Evidence from China 8 (Peterson Institute, Working Paper No. WP 08-4, 2008) (presenting large-scale survey of 1346 North Korean refugees at eleven sites from August 2004 to February 2005 in China).

[7]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 121 (citing Mark P. Lagon, Ambassador-at-Large and Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Dep’t of State, A Struggle for Survival: Trafficking of North Korean Women, Remarks at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Mar. 3, 2008)).

[8]. Lee Tae-hoon, Female North Korean Defectors Priced at $1500, Korea Times Nation, May 14, 2010, http://tinyurl.com/32r3pj9.

[9]. Id.

[10]. Richard V. Allen & Stephen J. Solarz, Preface to U.S. Comm. for Human Rights, The North Korean Refugee Crisis: Human Rights and International Response 7, 7 (Stephan Haggard & Marcus Noland eds., 2006) [hereinafter The North Korean Refugee Crisis].

[11]. The commission of human rights violations in North Korea has continued since the country’s formal establishment in 1948, through the Korean War of the early 1950s, and after the 1994 death of its leader Kim Il Sung. In 1994, Kim Il Sung’s son, Kim Jong Il obtained command of the country and heightened the government’s perpetration of human rights violations to maintain control over the North Korean people. See DLA Piper & U.S. Comm. for Human Rights in N. Kor., Failure to Protect: A Call for the UN Security Council to Act in North Korea 12, 23, 28 (2006) (presenting the human rights atrocities perpetrated in North Korea); Glyn Ford & Soyoung Kwon, North Korea on the Brink: Struggle for Survival 50 (2008) (discussing the monitoring of free thought in North Korea); Ryo Hagiwara, Kim Jong Il’s Hidden War: Solving the Mystery of Kim Il Sung’s Death and the Mass Starvations in North Korea 16 (Ken Hijino trans., 2006) (discussing the monitoring of free thought in North Korea); David Hawk, U.S. Comm. for Human Rights in N. Kor., The Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea’s Prison Camps 24 (2003) (exposing North Korea’s “gulags” for signs of citizen defection); Andrew S. Natsios, The Great North Korean Famine 109, 234 (2001) (discussing North Korea’s mass-starvations as human rights violations); Kongdan Oh & Ralph C. Hassig, North Korea: Through the Looking Glass 134 (2000) (discussing North Korea’s human rights situation); David Marcus, Famine Crimes in International Law, 97 Am. J. Int’l L. 245, 259 (2003).

[12]. Ford & Kwon, supra note 59; Hagiwara, supra note 59, at 16.

[13]. Hawk, supra note 59, at 24. North Korea’s six to eight internment camps, located primarily in the country’s northern provinces, imprison upwards of 200,000 North Koreans and their families for alleged disloyalty. Id.

[14]. DLA Piper, supra note 59, at 12, 23, 28; Hagiwara, supra note 59, at 23; Natsios, supra note 59, at 234; Oh & Hassig, supra note 59, at 145–47 (2000); World Food Programme, Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 200114, at 3–8 (2006), available at http://tinyurl.com/2ftaxz3; Marcus, supra note 59, at 245.

[15]. Oh & Hassig, supra note 59, at 7.

[16]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 126; Yoonok Chang, North Korean Refugees in China: Evidence from a Survey, in The North Korean Refugee Crisis, supra note 58, at 14; Bill Powell, North Korea’s Deadly Exit, Time, Mar. 2008, available at http://tinyurl.com/yds3m38; Chang et al., supra note 54, at 1.

[17]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 121.

[18]. Chang, supra note 64, at 17; Chang et al., supra note 54, at 4.

[19]. Chang et al., supra note 54, at 8 (citing Kate Macintyre, Famine and the Female Mortality Advantage, in Famine Demography: Perspectives from the Past & Present 240, 240–60 (Tim Dyson & Cormac Ó Gráda eds., 2002)).

[20]. See Megan Thibos et al., J. McDonald Williams Inst., The Feminization of Poverty 1 (2007) (exploring the concentration of poverty among women, particularly female-headed households); Diana Pearce, The Feminization of Poverty: Women, Work, and Welfare, Urban & Soc. Change Rev. 11, 28–36 (1978) (same).

[21]. Chang, supra 64, at 17; Chang et al., supra note 54, at 4 (finding that approximately three-fourths of North Korean refugees are from North Korea’s northern-most provinces).

[22]. See id. (discussing the reasons why North Korean refugees primarily come from northeastern North Korea); see also supra note 49 and accompanying text (noting that one of the political purposes of North Korea’s mass-starvations in the late 1990s was to silence opposition to Kim Jong Il’s regime).

[23]. Chang et al., supra note 54, at 8 (citing Macintyre, supra note 67, at 240–60).

[24]. See Thibos, supra note 68 (positing that, in many areas of the world, more females than males are living in poverty); see also Pearce, supra note 68.

[25]. See Comm. for Human Rights in North Korea, Lives for Sale 17 (2009) [hereinafter Lives for Sale] (discussing the factors compelling flight from North Korea).

[26]. Id. at 11–17.

[27]. Id. at 20 (citing U.N. Dev. Program & China Dev. Research Found., China Human Development Report (2005)).

[28]. According to a survey of 1,346 North Korean refugees, 67% stated that they most feared arrest upon crossing the border. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 124–25; Chang et al., supra note 54, at 2, 9.

[29]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 124–25.

[30]. Ser Myo-Ja, Aid Groups Say North Is Heading for Major Famine, JoongAng Daily, May 27, 2008, http://tinyurl.com/2a9ptjf.

[31]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 124–25.

[32]. Id. at 125; Hawk, supra note 59, at 10, 26; Int’l Crisis Group, Perilous Journeys: The Plight of North Koreans in China and Beyond 11 (2006) [hereinafter ICG Report]; U.S. Comm’n on Int’l Religious Freedom, A Prison Without Bars: Refugee & Defector Testimonies of Severe Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in North Korea 2 (2008).

[33]. Hawk, supra note 59, at 7, 11, 14, 46, 51, 60, 62, 66, 67, 69; Chang et al., supra note 54, at 6.

[34]. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees art. 1, Apr. 22, 1954, 19 U.S.T. 6223, 189 U.N.T.S. 137.

[35]. Id.

[36]. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment art. 1, opened for signature Dec. 10, 1984, S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20 (1988), 1465 U.N.T.S. 85 (entered into force June 26, 1987) [hereinafter CAT].

[37]. Id.

[38]. TIP Report 2009, supra note 2, at 105, 107; Stephen Haggard & Marcus Noland, Introduction to The North Korean Refugee Crisis, supra note 58, at 9; Donald Macintyre Yanji, Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide, Time, June 18, 2001, available at http://tinyurl.com/23kgt6y; Chang et al., supra note 54, at 7.

[39]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 126–27; TIP Report 2009, supra note 2, at 105, 107; Haggard & Noland, supra note 86, at 9; Yanji, supra note 86.

[40]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 126; TIP Report 2009, supra note 2, at 104–06; TIP Report 2008, supra note 52, at 7.

[41]. See U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 126; Park Jong-in & Lee Hark-joon, On the Border: Human Trafficking Thrives Across North Korea-China Border, Chosun Ilbo Online, May 8, 2009, http://tinyurl.com/2bgso9w.

[42]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 9, 15–16.

[43]. Id. at 21; ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13.

[44]. ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13.

[45]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 21.

[46]. See supra note 15 and accompanying text (explaining the use of the term “bride-slave”).

[47]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 9; Joel R. Charny, Acts of Betrayal: The Challenge of Protecting North Koreans in China 10–11 (Refugees Int’l ed., 2005), available at http://tinyurl.com/2gay69y.

[48]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 119; TIP Report 2008, supra note 52, at 92; TIP Report 2006, supra note 53, at 91; Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 16, 20; Sharon LaFraniere, Chinese Bias for Baby Boys Creates a Gap of 21 Million, N.Y. Times, Apr. 11, 2009, at A5; Gendercide: The Worldwide War on Baby Girls, Economist, Mar. 4, 2010, at 77–80.

[49]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 20.

[50]. Id.; Blaine Harden, N. Korean Women Who Flee to China Suffer in Stateless Limbo: Many Are Sold into Marriage, Wash. Post, June 10, 2009, at A08.

[51]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 126; TIP Report 2008, supra note 52, at 198–99; Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 28–49; ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13.

[52]. U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 126; TIP Report 2008, supra note 52, at 198–99; Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 28–49; ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13.

[53]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 20.

[54]. ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13.

[55]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 28–29.

[56]. Id. at 19.

[57]. Id. at 13.

[58]. See supra note 15 and accompanying text.

[59]. See supra Part II.A.2; see also Harden, supra note 98 (discussing testimonies of North Korean refugee women at North Korea Freedom Week 2009 in Washington, DC, where Bang Mi Sun testified that she was trafficked and sold into marriage three times in China).

[60]. These methods of power and control align with “The Power and Control Wheel,” a model developed in 1984 from the experiences of battered women in Duluth, Minnesota, to reveal the mechanisms of manipulation, coercion, violence, and abuse perpetrated by battering intimate partners. The Power and Control Wheel has been translated into over 40 languages and adapted to contexts of child abuse and human trafficking. Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, Wheel Gallery, Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, http://tinyurl.com/24kqkkh (last visited Sept. 18, 2010).

[61]. Adapted from the original Power and Control Wheel and the Immigrant Power and Control Wheel. See Wheel Gallery, Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, http://tinyurl.com/24kqkkh (last visited Oct. 7, 2010) (presenting the original Power and Control Wheel); Immigrant Power and Control Wheel, National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, http://tinyurl.com/2b3t5bg (last visited Oct. 17, 2010) (adapted from original wheel by Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, see supra note 108 and accompanying Figure).

[62]. NKHR Delegation at the 61st UNCHR Meeting in Geneva 7 April 2005, A Women’s Voice International, http://awomansvoice.org/nl1-2005-4.html (last visited Sept. 18, 2010). It should be noted that available accounts of trafficked North Korean women do not indicate a 60 to 70 percent incidence of physical violence. It is possible that this discrepancy is because those surveyed were in less physically violent relationships as they were, after all, alive and had either resettled outside of China or were able to speak with foreign interviewers in Northeast China. It is also possible that the women interviewed did not want to discuss physical and sexual violence perpetrated against them. See, e.g., Lives for Sale, supra note 73 (interviewing North Korean refugee women in Northeast China); Harden, supra note 98 (discussing statements made by North Korean refugee women who had obtained safe haven outside of China); Chang et al., supra note 54 (interviewing North Korean refugee women in Northeast China).

[63]. ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13–14 (“Husbands may be abusive, and many keep their purchased brides under virtual house arrest lest she run away or be discovered by authorities.”); Human Rights Watch, The Invisible Exodus: North Koreans in the People’s Republic of China 13–14 (2002), available at http://tinyurl.com/2dhfeyf; Kathleen Davis, Brides, Bruises and the Border: The Trafficking of North Korean Women into China, 26 SAIS Rev. 131, 134 (2006).

[64]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 19, 22.

[65]. Id. at 19.

[66]. Harden, supra note 98 (quoting Bang Mi Sun, a North Korean refugee woman who escaped to South Korea in 2004, saying that “North Korean women are being sold like livestock in China”).

[67]. Id. (discussing testimonies of North Korean refugee women at North Korea Freedom Week 2009 in Washington, DC, where Kim Young Ae testified that she was trafficked and sold into marriage three times in China); see also ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13–14 (“A broker may sell a woman into marriage and instruct her to run away once he has received payment only to catch and sell her again, sometimes repeating the scheme several times.”).

[68]. ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13–14; Davis, supra note 111, at 134.

[69]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 10, 22, 23; Chang et al., supra note 54, at 14.

[70]. Chang et al., supra note 54, at 8.

[71]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 50–53; Mike Kim, Escaping North Korea: Defiance and Hope in the World’s Most Repressive Country 83–84, 90–91 (2008).

[72]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 23; see also ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13; Chang et al., supra note 54, at 8.

[73]. Lives for Sale, supra note 73, at 28–49.

[74]. Id.

[75]. Id.

[76]. Id. at 10, 24; see also U.S. Cong. Report, supra note 51, at 126 (discussing Chinese law that guarantees all children born in China to at least one parent of Chinese nationality citizenship and entitlement to compulsory and free education, regardless of sex, nationality, or race); ICG Report, supra note 80, at 13.

[77]. Chang et al., supra note 54, at 6.