On this day of March 8, China decided to tackle the delicate issue of trafficking in women and forced marriages in the countryside. It was the fate of a mother chained by her husband who ended up making the authorities react.

Women's rights: after the scandal caused by a viral video, China tackles the trafficking of women
The video of a mother chained up has shed light on the problem of women trafficking in China.  (MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

Last January, China was shocked by the video of a mother  living in Jiangsu province. She lived in a barn, in unsanitary conditions. She was chained to a wall by her husband. He had bought her before giving her eight children.

Until now, the regime turned a blind eye to this trafficking in women, which makes it possible to deal with the lack of wives in the countryside. But the suffering of this mother aroused such a wave of emotion that the authorities were forced to react. 

"We want a plan to fight these barbaric acts."

Huan Qi, vice president of the Shanghai Women's Federation

The husband was arrested. 17 civil servants were sanctioned and several deputies also tabled proposals, which are being examined this week. "We want an anti-trafficking plan that is civilized society's declaration of war against these barbaric acts , "  said  Huan Qi, vice president of the Shanghai Women's Federation.

She believes that "we need prison sentences for those who traffic and sell these women, but also for those who buy them. The difficulty of saving these women is due to the obstruction of the public and the neighborhood who often defends these practices.

Towards an increase in penalties?

Prison sentences for traffickers are now five years. Jilin Province MP Zhang Baoyan is calling for harsher sentences. "There is no deterrent effect or appeasing effect for the victims. I suggest equating this to a crime of kidnapping and abduction. Those involved should be sentenced to terms ranging from ten years to the death penalty . ”

China's Ministry of Public Security launched a ten-month campaign on March 1 to register and identify trafficked women.

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