The New York-based organization Human Rights in China reports that as many as 10,000 Chinese women per year are being trafficked into Southeast Asia and forced to join the sex industry or work as laborers under sweatshop conditions in factories or on farms. The International Organization for Migration estimates that there are 300,000 women and children who are victims of trafficking in Southeast Asia, many of whom were kidnapped from poor villages or lured away by false promises of legitimate work and livable wages. Increasingly Chinese women living in the poor southern regions of the country are becoming more at risk. Many of these women, according to trafficking experts, will find themselves victim to the $20 billion per year sex industry in Thailand.
Sex trafficking is the third most lucrative criminal activity in the world after smuggling arms and narcotics. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that more than one million children, primarily girls, are forced into the sex trade each year. In the United States alone, between 244,000 and 325,000 women and children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation.