In order to fully understand the ways survivors experience their exploitation and the ways traffickers defraud and coerce victims from other nations, we have to make an effort to understand the conditions survivors and traffickers experience in the source countries.

Thomson Reuters Foundation’s recent piece on sex trafficking of N. Korean women in China is a strong example of the nuance and cultural implications women bring with them when they are exploited repeatedly across different borders.

N.Korean women tell of slavery and gang rape in Chinese cybersex dens

ARCHIVE PHOTO: A woman in prostitution sits in the dark as she waits for customers near a bar district in Shanghai. June, 2003. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV

Tens of thousands of North Korean women and girls – some as young as 9 – are being trafficked into sexual slavery in China as they try to flee poverty and oppression in their homeland, experts on the reclusive state said on Monday.
The sexual exploitation of North Koreans generates at least $105 million in annual profits for the Chinese underworld, according to a report by the non-profit Korea Future Initiative, which includes harrowing accounts from trafficked women.

Click through to read the full piece, including survivor accounts of their experiences and the conditions of their exploitation. This type of education on the lived experience survivors often bring with them to their trafficking situations also illustrates why not all survivors feel safe self-identifying as victims, or turning against their traffickers.

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