The hidden scourge of sex trafficking in Asia

by Zafirah Mohamed Zein

Sex trafficking is a crime that is not reported, prosecuted, or detected enough. Many victims fall through the cracks, becoming further ensnared in a murky web of deception and exploitation. Comprehensive data around sex trafficking is lacking, but global estimates reveal that 7 in 10 sex trafficking victims are in Asia Pacific. Most are women and girls.

What is sex trafficking?
How big is sex trafficking in Asia?
A victim’s journey
Home is not a safe place for everyone
Hope and danger in the big city
Who else is involved in sex trafficking?
Where are Asia’s missing women?
Brides for sale on the Belt and Road

Many women and girls have reportedly been forced into prostitution and fertility treatments, enduring physical and sexual abuse once they become caught up in these transnational trafficking rackets.

Trafficking women within borders
Why are women and girls in Asia so vulnerable to being trafficked?
Corruption is deeply entwined with trafficking
How does Asia fare in the anti-trafficking fight?
Can Asia save its next generation from sex trafficking?
Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at
Illustration / Griselda Gabriele
Data visualisation / Bianchi Dy
Design / Joceline Kuswanto
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