Female Perpetrators in Internal Child Trafficking in China: An Empirical Study

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Through an empirical study, this article explores the overall profile of female traffickers of children in China and their role and performance in the trafficking processes. Its contribution to the human-trafficking literature lies in its focus on female perpetrators in particular. The article provides an overview of the international literature on female traffickers as well as contemporary knowledge about internal child trafficking in China. Empirical data from incarcerated traffickers suggest that portraying female traffickers as active players of criminal networks obscures the structural problems affecting female child traffickers. The short-term result is that the problems of female offenders are ignored, and the long-term impact is policy making that is disconnected from the lived experiences of an important population. From a gender perspective, this study suggests that female child traffickers are offenders as well as victims of social and gender inequalities in China’s reform era. This study also proposes that internal child trafficking in China should be brought in the international and Anglo-American debates surrounding human trafficking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-77
JournalJournal of Human Trafficking
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016


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