This bill — the Stop Gendercide Act — would require the State Dept. to research the relationship between human trafficking and skewed sex ratios in populations where there’s evidence of sex-selective practices in the agency’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Sex-selective practices include infanticide, gender-biased neglect, and other forms of gender-based violence.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
House Committee on Foreign AffairsIntroducedSeptember 28th, 2018
- house Committees
What is it?
In-Depth: Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) introduced this bill to research gendercide’s effect on human trafficking:
“An estimated 126 million women are missing from the world population due to systematic gender-based violence, neglect, and even infanticide. It is heartbreaking when the lives of young girls are valued less than the lives of young boys, and Congress must stand up against the promotion of violence against girls around the world. These patterns of violence have led to skewed sex ratios in certain national and sub-national populations. In these populations, there is evidence that heightened demand for women can make them more vulnerable to human trafficking crimes, child marriage, and exploitation. This legislation will give the U.S. government, partner nations, and civil society the information they need to better respond to changes in human trafficking patterns driven by violence against women and girls.”
“The Stop Gendercide Act of 2018 is vital to ending human trafficking,” said Jill McElya, President and CEO of the Invisible Girl Project. “In countries such as India, female gendercide has resulted in men outnumbering women by the millions, resulting in the trafficking of little girls and women. In order to effectively address trafficking, gendercide must also be confronted. Invisible Girl Project fully supports this legislation and is optimistic that Congress will determine its enactment is critical to combating human trafficking globally.”
The Washington Post’s Simon Denyer and Annie Gowen wrote that as a result of China’s shortage of women: “Trafficking of brides is on the rise. Foreign women are being recruited and lured to China, effectively creating similar imbalances in China’s neighbors.”
In 2013, the European Parliament passed a motion calling upon its member countries to combat sex-selective practices both within their own borders and in the broader world. In that resolution, the European Parliament called for the EU and its partner countries to “improve, through development cooperation, the monitoring and data collection of sex ratios at birth, and to take prompt action to address possible imbalances.”
Of Note: The U.S. government uses the TIP Report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms, combat trafficking, and target anti-human trafficking resources. Globally, the TIP Report is used by international organizations, foreign governments, and nongovernmental organizations as a tool to examine where resources are most needed.
The TIP Report divides countries into three tiers based on individual governments’ efforts to combat trafficking within their borders. The TIP is the U.S. government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It’s also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts, and reflects the U.S. government’s commitment to global leadership on human trafficking.
Gendercide is the death of females worldwide due to sex-selective abortion to favor boys over girls, female infanticide, gross neglect of young girls, entirely preventable maternal death, blocking access to food and shelter for older women, and socially-sanctioned violence against women. In 2010, the U.N. estimated that 126 million females — 2.7% of the global female population — were dead due to this phenomenon.
Gendercide tends to occur mainly in Asia, the Caucasus, and the Balkan states. While the phenomenon itself occurs within individual nations’ borders, its consequences spread beyond their borders. In nations with shortages of women, there are large concentrations of “involuntary bachelors” whose frustrated desire to marry leads to bride-theft, human trafficking, violence, and higher overall crime rates.
In India, the trafficking of women is related to both marriage (due to families bringing women in from other Indian states and countries to become wives for their sons) and the sex trade (due to high demand for sex workers incentivizing brothel owners to traffick women to work in their establishments). Higher sex ratios are closely associated with gender-based crime and sex trafficking. China — which has one of the most imbalanced sex ratios in the world due to the one-child policy — conducts 60% of worldwide sex trafficking, and saw a near-doubling of its crime rate after the one-child policy’s enactment. Today, the most common crimes in China are bride-napping, trafficking in women, rape, and prostitution.
- Sponsoring Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) Press Release
- 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report
- The Washington Post (Context)
- Congressional-Executive Commission on China Gendercide Hearing (Context)
- Haaretz (Context)
- Invisible Girl Project (Context)
- European Parliament Director-General for External Policies Policy Department (Context)
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / BrianAJackson)