Mapping trafficking of women in China: Evidence from national court sentences


In recent years, exposés on the trafficking of women have caught the public’s attention in China. However, due to data scarcity, the scope and nature of such criminal activity are not well understood. The authors of this study provide a new angle in the analysis of human trafficking by digitizing and analyzing court sentencing documents on trafficking in China during 2014–2015.Through mapping court data to geographic information and performing network analysis, the study presented a comprehensive picture of intra-provincial, inter-provincial, and international trafficking patterns. The data showed that international trafficking has become the largest category in the trafficking of women, and victims were typically young women in their 20s originating from Vietnam, Myanmar, and North Korea who were sold into central provinces. Domestically, inter-provincial trafficking outnumbers intra-provincial cases. Across provincial borders, women were trafficked from southwest to central provinces. Intra-provincial trafficking was concentrated in four provinces: Henan, Anhui, Shandong, and Hebei.

Journal of Contemporary China, 29(112), pp. 238-2528