torsdag 24. februar 2022

Xuzhou’s Chained Woman Highlights China’s Human Trafficking Problem

Senior officials in the Chinese city of Xuzhou found themselves in deep trouble after the Lunar New Year holidays, when a series of videos went viral on Chinese social media platforms showing a woman imprisoned by chains in an open air hut in the city’s rural area. Originally posted on social media to promote a man with eight children, these videos later triggered anger across China as more evidence suggests that the chained woman – reportedly the mother of those eight children – is a victim of human trafficking.

Those clips quickly caught the attention of the general public. And to make the issue even worse, the initial responses from the local government in Xuzhou were tone-deaf and later appeared to be self-contradictory. After initially claiming that the chained woman was legally married, authorities in Xuzhou later detained two individuals in an attempt to appease the backlash from the public. But the later responses from local authorities also fail to address critical issues such as the identity of the victim and, more broadly, the long-existing issue of human trafficking in the region.