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SOCIETY & CULTURE

Women Come to Grips With Being Sold Into Slavery as Girls

Lin Aizhen (left) and Chen Shufen were both sold by their parents when they were little. But while Lin was beloved at her adopted home, Chen was bought by her adopted parents as a child bride and was forced to marry her adopted brother, who is mentally disabled. The pair have become friends over their shared roots as unwanted girls.
Lin Aizhen (left) and Chen Shufen were both sold by their parents when they were little. But while Lin was beloved at her adopted home, Chen was bought by her adopted parents as a child bride and was forced to marry her adopted brother, who is mentally disabled. The pair have become friends over their shared roots as unwanted girls.

After 28 years, Cao Xiaoqin still vividly remembers watching fireworks from her hiding place in a freezing rice paddy on the eve of Lunar New Year when she was only 7.

Cao (not her real name) was fleeing mistreatment and abuse in the southeastern city of Putian, Fujian province, at the hands of her adopted parents who had bought her as a child laborer in Changle county in a deal brokered via a “matchmaker.”

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