While slavery in the seventeenth century included a substantial traffic in Asian women, it was only in the late nineteenth century that the rise in trafficking in women in Asia came to the attention of international humanitarians who sought to combat this new form of post-abolition slavery. The increasing emphasis on women as slaves, held for the purposes of sexual exploitation, was to a large extent brought to public attention as the result of the enactment of the British Contagious Diseases Ordinance of 1870, which required that women working in prostitution be registered and counted. It was European colonialism in Southeast Asia and its reliance on the labor of Asian male migrant workers that had encouraged the increase in trafficking of women into Southeast Asia. Despite this, however, most European colonial officials sought to portray themselves as abolitionists and regarded trafficking as an Asian problem. This rhetoric of Asian slavery and European abolition was mobilized to provide moral justification for colonial expansion. By the early twentieth century international observers, under the auspices of the League of Nations, again sought to raise public awareness of the traffic in women, highlighting the cases of Chinese and Japanese women travelling into Southeast Asia. Once again, however, colonial governments sought to underplay any suggestions that they might be complicit in encouraging such traffic.
Phillip Winn“Slavery and Cultural Creativity in the Banda Islands,”Journal of Southeast Asian Studies41 no. 3 (Oct. 2010): 370; Heather Sutherland “The Makassar Malays: Adaptation and Identity c. 1660–1790” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 32 no. 3 (Nov. 2001): 397–421.
Amy StanleySelling Women: Prostitution Markets and the Household in Early Modern Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press2012) 31; Gary P. Leupp Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women 1543–1900 (London: A & C Black 2003) 49.
Boomgaard“Human Capital”85; Martin A. Klein “The Emancipation of Slaves in the Indian Ocean” in Gwyn Campbell ed. Abolition and Its Aftermath in the Indian Ocean Asia and Africa (Milton Park: Routledge 2005) 180–198 185.
Romanet du CaillaudHistoire de l’ intervention française au Tong-King de 1872 à 1874 (Paris: Challamel Ainé1880) 27; Jean Dupuis Le Tong-kin et L’ intervention Française (Paris: Augustin Challamel 1898) 235 & 320.
William Taft 10 February1904“Human Slavery in the Philippines” cited in Lindley M. Garrison Secretary of War in a letter to the President of Senate 6 May 1913 Garrison Papers Library of Congress Washington DC.
Norman MinersHong Kong under Imperial Rule 1912–1941 (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press1987) 153–154.
James Francis WarrenAh Ku and Karayuki-san Prostitution in Singapore 1870–1940 (Singapore: Oxford University Press1993); Tagliacozzo Secret Trades; Sachiko Sone “The Karayuki-san of Asia 1868–1938 The Role of Prostitutes Overseas in Japanese Economic and Social Development” Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs 26 no. 2 (1992): 44–62.
MihalopolousSex in Japan’s Globalization37; Yuriko Yokoyama “The Yujo Release Act as Emancipation of Slaves” in Hideaki Suzuki ed. Abolitions as a Global Experience (Singapore: NUS Press 2015) 183–184.
Petra de Vries“ ‘White Slaves’ in a Colonial Nation: The Dutch Campaign Against the Traffic in Women in the Early Twentieth Century,”Social and Legal Studies14 no. 1 (2005): 42; Doezema Sex Slaves and Discourse Masters.
Sachiko Sone“The Karayuki-san of Asia 1868–1938, The Role of Prostitutes Overseas in Japanese Economic and Social Development,”Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs26 no. 2 (1992): 44–62here 58; “Particulars concerning prostitution and the traffic in women and children in various Asiatic countries and colonies” 1924 Box S171 League of Nations Archives Geneva.