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Netizens question narrative of human trafficking victim turned model teacher

Updated: 2015-07-30 15:30
By Liu Wei (chinadaily.com.cn)

Netizens question narrative of human trafficking victim turned model teacher

Gao Yanmin teaches children at a school in Xiagu village, Quyang county, Baoding, Hebei province, May 13, 2015. [Photo/CFP]

The case of Gao Yanmin, a woman who was tragically abducted, trafficked and sold 21 years ago to a remote village in Baoding, Hebei province, and who now has been turned into a "role model" by the authorities for becoming a rural school teacher has caused great controversy online, even as local police have begun investigations into her case, reported Hushang Daily, a local paper based in Xi’an, Shaanxi province on Thursday.

Chen Shiqu, chief of the Anti-trafficking Office of China's Ministry of Public Security, stated clearly on his verified Weibo account on the Gao Yanmin case that human traders and buyers should be punished without tolerance and sympathy and victims should be helped.

Gao Yanmin's horrific story ignited public rage about the authorities' inaction after her story was reported in 2006 and she was set up as a role model for people who had been trafficked since she settled down in the poor village where her buyer lives and taught local children in school.

Gao Yanmin was defrauded by two women who said they could find her a job at a train station in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province in 1996. She was abducted and sent to a man in Quyang county in Hebei to be his wife for the price of 2,700 yuan after being resold three times.

At the beginning when she lived with the man, she tried to run away once but was tracked down and beaten up by her husband. Then she attempted suicide three times, but was saved each time. Faced with the stark reality of her condition, she settled down to live on in horror.

She soon had children and worked as a substitute teacher in a local primary school since 2000 where there was a lack of teachers and education resources. She devoted her life to the students with negligible pay and bought books for students who didn't have enough money to keep them in the school.

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