International Trafficking

According to a U.S. State Department report globally, 800-900,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year—of that number 70% are female and half of that percentage are children. In 54% of trafficking cases the recruiter is a stranger, but 46% of the time the recruiter is actually known to the victim. 

In some countries,  girls are placed on platforms and sold in auctions reminiscent of the slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Eastern Europe it is common practice of traffickers to trick women into signing up with false employment agencies where the girls are made to believe they will be working abroad in restaurants, hotels, nannies, etc. Once the girls hand over their documents such as birth certificates or passports the traffickers are now in control.


Mexico is a country of origin and destination for trafficking victims. A large number of boys and girls are trafficked within Mexico for the purposes of sexual exploitation. They are often lured from poor rural areas to urban and tourist areas. Mexico has become the major sex tourism destination in the Americas. The country’s popular destination cities have become magnets for sex tourists and pedophiles. 


Cambodia is a major destination for child sex tourism. Americans make up 38% of Cambodia’s sex tourists. A very conservative estimate for this countries sex slaves is 40-50,000 girls and young women. The sale of “virgins” is devastatingly problematic within Cambodia. The average price for a virgin is anywhere from $800-$4,000 dollars. Many Cambodian men believe sex with a virgin will give them a longer life span, will keep them strong and or refresh them with new strength. 

They also believe raping a virgin will cure AIDS. Often these virgins are VERY young, sometimes 5 or 6 years old. They will typically purchase them for a week or so and then return them to the brothel they purchased them from. Once she can no longer pass as a virgin sale she will be placed with the other girls and be forced to service up to 35-40 men per day. 


In 2010, an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 children in the Philippines were involved in prostitution rings, according to Minette Rimando, a spokeswoman for the U.N.’S International Labour Organization’s Manila office. The Philippines has a serious trafficking problem of women and children illegally recruited into the tourist industry for sexual exploitation. 

Destinations within the country are Metro Manila, Angeles City, Olongapo City, towns in Bulacan, Batangas, Cebu City, Davao and Cagayan de Oro City and other sex tourist resorts such as Puerto Galera, which is notorious, Pagsanjan, Laguna, San Fernando Pampanga, and many beach resorts throughout the country.  

The recruiters promise women and children attractive jobs, either in country or abroad, and instead they are controlled, coerced, forced into the sex industry for tourists. In 2008, the National Bureau of Investigation alerted the public over the rampant smuggling of human organs in the Philippines. The NBI said smugglers are now targeting children who are kidnapped and taken abroad where their organs are sold to foreign nationals.   

Ukraine and Moldova

When a child living in an orphanage reaches the age of 16, they are no longer allowed to reside in government run facilities. They are released unto the streets because they have “aged out”. It is common for someone working within the orphanage to compile a list of children who are aging out, and provide that to the traffickers. On the day the child is released, the trafficker will wait just outside of the orphanage and offer them false job opportunities in other countries. 

These kids are homeless, have no families and nowhere to go…they are orphans. There will be no one to miss them once they’ve disappeared into the trafficking world because no one knows they exist. 70% of the boys released will turn to a life of crime, 70% of the girls will fall into prostitution and 10% of these kids will commit suicide before they even reach age 18. 


Human trafficking is a major issue facing the Caribbean. For example in Haiti, an estimated 250,000 children- 80% of whom are girls- have been subjected to a system of domestic slavery termed “restavek” .


Women and girls are trafficked both within India and into India from Nepal, Bangladesh and neighboring countries. Red light districts holding thousands of women & children operate brothels offering girls as young as 9 or 10 for sale. Human Rights Watch estimates that over 15 million young women are trapped in prostitution. Young women live their whole lives in these brothels, have children (usually the offspring of customers), and die there, often at an early age from HIV/AIDS & other diseases.

It is estimated that at least 75 million men buy sex regularly in India. 

Middle Eastern/Gulf States

The commercial sex industry is flourishing in the Middle East. Most notably, underground prostitution rings are a problem throughout the region. Many of the Gulf States, including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, and Lebanon are significant hubs of demand. The United Arab Emirates has been dubbed the “ Center for Prostitution in the Middle East”. 

Many women, mainly from small towns in the former Soviet Union and China, are trafficked to Dubai to fill the large demand for illicit sex that has been created by the huge influx of largely male, workers from the East and West. 


China’s one child policy has created severe gender imbalances where boys outnumber girls by a significant margin. Because of a long-standing preference for sons, parents have actively engaged in gender based selective abortions, abandonment and infanticide. Consequently, many millions of girls are missing and experts estimate that in this generation alone, over 37 million men will not find partners. 

Experts fear that this will generate a demand for trafficked women and girls- demand that will be met from countries like North Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mongolia, Thailand and elsewhere. In some provinces in China, reports are already surfacing of young women and girls bought and sold multiple times, shared by many men in one village, and subjected to exploitation.