[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (Tier 3) Extracted from the U.S. State Dept 2020 TIP Report

The Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore the PRC remained on Tier 3. Despite the lack of significant efforts, the government took some steps to address trafficking, including by prosecuting and convicting some traffickers, and by continuing to cooperate with international authorities to address forced and fraudulent marriages in the PRC, a key trafficking vulnerability for foreign women and girls. However, during the report period there was a government policy or pattern of widespread forced labor, including through the continued mass arbitrary detention of more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and other Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang). Authorities also expanded the campaign into other provinces, began implementing it among other religious minorities, and sought the coerced repatriation and internment of religious and ethnic minorities living abroad. For the third consecutive year, the government did not report identifying any trafficking victims or referring them to protective services.

Prioritized Recommendations

Abolish the arbitrary detention and forced labor of persons in internment camps and affiliated manufacturing sites in Xinjiang and other provinces and immediately release and pay restitution to the individuals detained therein.End forced labor in government facilities, in nongovernmental facilities converted to government detention centers, and by government officials outside of the penal process.Cease the use of harassment, threats, and illegal discriminatory immigration policies as measures to coerce the return to Xinjiang and subsequent forced labor of ethnic and religious minorities living abroad.Cease discriminatory hiring and targeted displacement policies that place Muslim and other minority communities at risk of trafficking.Cease all forced urban resettlement and displacement programs, particularly those targeting Uyghurs, Tibetans, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups.Respecting due process, vigorously investigate, prosecute, and impose prison sentences on perpetrators of forced labor and sex trafficking, including complicit government officials.Criminalize all forms of sex trafficking and labor trafficking as defined under international law.Institute and systematize proactive, formal procedures to identify trafficking victims throughout the country—including male victims, labor trafficking victims, PRC national victims returning from abroad, and victims among vulnerable groups, such as migrant workers, PRC national and foreign fishermen, foreign women, North Korean workers, and PRC national women and children arrested on “prostitution” charges—and train front-line officers on their implementation.Increase oversight of seafarer labor conditions in the PRC fishing industry.Cease penalization of victims for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit.Immediately screen individuals suspected of prostitution offenses for sex trafficking indicators and refer identified victims to protection services.In conjunction with receiving countries, increase efforts to detect and prevent abusive migrant labor contract provisions placing PRC national workers at higher risk of forced labor.Ensure authorities do not subject trafficking victims to extended detention, punishment, or deportation.Expand victim protection services, including comprehensive counseling and medical, reintegration, and other rehabilitative assistance for male and female victims of sex and labor trafficking.Provide legal alternatives to foreign victims’ removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution, particularly North Korea.Increase the transparency of government efforts to combat trafficking and provide disaggregated data on investigations and prosecutions, victim identification, and service provision, including by continuing to share relevant data with international partners.