Chinese population

China Facts: The Result - Effects on North Korean Refugees

What has happened as a result of China’s policies on North Korean refugees has been a human rights disaster. Tens of thousands of North Korean refugee women have been sold to Chinese men.

Approximately 70 to 80 percent of North Korean refugee women are trafficked into forced marriages, sexual exploitation, and abusive labor, according to Mark P. Lagon, Ambassador-at-Large and Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Dep’t of State.

This has caused a world of suffering for the women who have been sold and the children who have been born into these marriages.


Some women Crossing Borders has assisted have reported brutal treatment in the marriages they were forced into. Many were physically abused. One woman told us that she was locked in a shed and was "shared" by five farmers who couldn't afford to purchase a wife on their own.

Many North Korean refugees have children with their Chinese husbands. It is estimated by some experts that the population of these half North Korean, half Chinese children is about 60,000. Since China actively seeks out these women and many others flee these oppressive marriages, there is a growing population of children who do not have mothers or fathers who are willing to care for them.

Crossing Borders runs group homes to meet the needs of these children. We also provide scholarships for other children who live with family members.


The human cost of the North Korean refugee crisis cannot be measured. Children who have seen their mothers hauled off by Chinese police are haunted by these memories. The women who have been beaten and raped by their "husbands" live with these scars.

Stay tuned for the final installment of China Facts later this week.