Teenage girls and unmarried women from ethnic minority communities are particularly at risk of falling victim to traffickers
A young Lao woman has disappeared without trace after visiting capital Vientiane (above). Her mother believes she has been trafficked to China. (Photo: YouTube)
The Covid-19 pandemic may have shut down international borders across Southeast Asia, yet that hasn’t stopped human traffickers in countries such as Laos.
Young women from disadvantaged backgrounds in the impoverished communist nation of 7 million continue to be trafficked into China, where they are forced into sex work or marrying local men, according to rights groups and media reports.
In one of the latest cases, a 20-year-old woman, who left her village for Vientiane, the capital, in January and seems to have disappeared without a trace more than two months ago, is believed by her family to have been trafficked to China.
“I haven’t been able to contact my daughter for more than two months now,” the young woman’s mother told Radio Free Asia.
“Whenever I called, a Chinese man answered the phone, and now her mobile phone has been completely shut down. I believe she has been sold or trafficked to China.”
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