Pakistani Christian women and girls have been sold off as brides to men in China, with many suffering abuse and forced prostitution, according to an Associated Press report.
Pakistani investigators found that 629 women and young girls were trafficked into China after being sold off by family members to marry Chinese men, the AP reported Wednesday.
investigators looked at Pakistan’s border system which digitally records travel documents at national airports. The list covers the marriages of 629 women and girls that took place between 2018 and April of this year. Investigators believe that all were sold by their families.
An unnamed official who spoke with the AP explained that selling women as brides to Chinese men is a “lucrative trade.”
“The Chinese and Pakistani brokers make between 4 million and 10 million rupees ($25,000 and $65,000) from the groom, but only about 200,000 rupees ($1,500), is given to the family,” he said, according to the AP.
“No one is doing anything to help these girls,” another official said. “The whole racket is continuing, and it is growing.”
“Why? Because they know they can get away with it. The authorities won’t follow through, everyone is being pressured to not investigate. Trafficking is increasing now.
According to the AP, some local pastors are also involved in the selling of Christian girls and argue that the trade is helping economically.