I was looking through a collection of old photos the other day and noted one in particular of a Chinese man and a young girl that looked to be about thirteen. The man was holding a small child and the girl an infant.
The back of the photo said, :Ah Lang Bought wife for $6 in San Francisco. She poisoned him six years later and remarried. Oroville, Butte County, c. 1900.
I knew Chinese women were kidnapped and shipped to California often during the gold rush to be prostituted or sold as wives to lonely men from China, but I was surprised to see that girls were still being sold at the turn of the century.
I did an internet search, and was even more surprised to learn that the practice still happens today.
According to an article posted on the University of Rhode Island website , thousands of women are bought and sold in China each year… Apparently the demand for Chinese girls is growing because fewer girls from northern Thailand are entering the sex trade and
“Their pleasant character, white skin and beauty were similar to northern girls.” (Prof Kusol Sunthorntada, Researcher, Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University…
According to the article, women are also being trafficked for sale as wives to husbands, who often resell them. (CATW – Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific).
This happens now. Today.
We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go…