The U.S. State Department, which last year placed China on its watch list for human trafficking, defines the practice as “modern day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.”
There are between 600,000 and 800,000 people, mostly women and children, trafficked across national borders, according to the State Department.
More than 250,000 of those victims are in China.
Slaves are also purchased from North Korea and within China and forced into manual labor.
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said “80 to 90 percent of the refugees from North Korea, particularly women and children end up as trafficking victims.”