China and Vietnam have pledged to work together to eradicate sex trafficking between their borders, a crime that has victimized tens of thousands of women in the region. The two countries will step up efforts to police their borders while launching a public education initiative on the issue. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will help the countries seek funding for the project. Most of the victims in the commercial sex trade in this region are poor Vietnamese women sold as prostitutes, brides, or servants in China.
UNICEF estimates that more than one million children, primarily girls, are forced into the sex trade each year. Sex trafficking is the third most lucrative criminal activity in the world after smuggling arms and narcotics.