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The BBC's Simon Ingram reports from Thailand
"Girls as young as nine years old are being sold to traffickers by their parents"
 real 28k

Sunday, 2 April, 2000, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
US prostitution traffic revealed
Forced prostitutes
The victims are forced into prostitution
The CIA has reportedly discovered that as many as 50,000 women and children are smuggled into the United States each year and forced to work as prostitutes, abused labourers or servants.

In a 79-page report, International Trafficking in Women to the United States, the CIA paints "a broad picture of this hidden trade and the difficulties that government agencies face in fighting it," according to the New York Times.

The report identifies the countries that are the primary source for traffickers as Thailand, Vietnam, China, Mexico, Russia and the Czech Republic.

It says that, over the past two years, as many as 100,000 women and children have been smuggled into the States and held in bondage.

The foreign women answered advertisements for jobs as au pairs, secretaries or waitresses in the United States, only to find on arrival that the jobs did not exist.

Held under guard

Instead, they were taken prisoner, held under guard and then forced into prostitution. Some of them were sold to brothel owners.

Over the past two years, the government has prosecuted cases involving only about 250 women.

The report says victims' inability to speak English and their fear of law enforcement officers made it difficult to determine the facts of each case.

The New York Times says it received a copy of the document, which is not classified but has not been made public, from a government official who wanted the report's finding made public.

The report, which was completed in November, was based on more than 150 interviews with government officials, law enforcement officers, victims and experts in the United States and abroad.

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See also:

01 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
China targets kidnappers
29 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Sex slavery under attack
26 Feb 00 | South Asia
US highlights human trafficking
23 Feb 00 | Americas
Crackdown on sex slavery
17 Feb 00 | AudioVideo
Prostitution floods UK
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