Sex Trafficking Victims Go Unnoticed in Laos

Like many girls in Laos, where almost one-third of the population lives below the poverty line, Vahn* was desperate to earn money for her family. This made her a prime target for sex traffickers.
As an uneducated 15-year old, Vahn said she was convinced by her stepsister to work at a farm in central Thailand. But she ended up at a Thai brothel, where she was forced to have sex with a client who paid to take her virginity.
Vahn’s story is not unique. Laos, a landlocked, communist state with one of the worst poverty rates in Southeast Asia, is a prime source for Thailand’s flourishing sex trafficking rings. Around 90 percent of Lao trafficking victims are transported to ….

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