Sex, Money, and Modern-Day Slavery: Trafficking of Women and Children in China

  • Tonia Warnecke


As globalization has increased economic, social, and political ties across borders, often in beneficial ways, it has also facilitated the spread of harmful activities such as human trafficking. This chapter describes the phenomenon of sex trafficking in China, and identifies groups susceptible to this form of exploitation, as well as cultural factors that influence trafficking. Catalysts for the sex slave trade include consumer demand, government policies, lack of rule of law and alternative employment opportunities, and poverty, among others. Because these catalysts operate at both micro- and macro-levels, addressing sex trafficking is complicated. This chapter discusses Chinese policy towards the sex trafficking issue, and how the national response has changed over time. The chapter concludes with recommendations for further action.


Human trafficking Sex trafficking China Policy Modern slavery Anti-trafficking Sex slave 

Select Bibliography

  1. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). “Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet.” Washington, DC: DHHS, 2012. 1–2.Google Scholar
  2. Ham, Julie. “Trafficking and Gender.” In Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, edited by Deborah Figart and Tonia Warnecke, 542–58. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. International Labour Organization (ILO). Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage. ILO: Geneva, 2017.Google Scholar
  4. Kagan, Sophia. “Labour Trafficking in China: Analysis and Recommendations.” The International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 29, no. 3 (2003): 259–82.Google Scholar
  5. U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report 2019. U.S. Department of State: Washington, DC, 2019.Google Scholar
  6. Warnecke, Tonia. “Gender and the Welfare State in China.” International Journal of Business and Globalisation 6, no. 1 (2011): 44–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Zhao, Gracie Ming. “Trafficking of Women for Marriage in China: Policy and practice.” Criminal Justice 3, 1 (2003): 83–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tonia Warnecke
    • 1
  1. 1.Rollins CollegeOrlandoUSA

Personalised recommendations