Vietnamese girls as young as 13 are taken to China by human traffickers, to be sold as brides. Pictured, girls reading leaflets designed to educate them about the threat of sex trafficking at a market in Northern Vietnam.
The official checkpoint on the right separates Lao Cai, Vietnam, from China. Villages around the border are hunting grounds for human traffickers looking for young Vietnamese women, who are approached online or in public spaces like the local markets. CNN/Scott Clotworthy
Girls at a regional market in Bac Ha, Vietnam. Outreach workers say the market is a common hunting ground for traffickers. Girls trafficked from Vietnam can be sold as brides for $3,000 or more to the end buyer. CNN/Scott Clotworthy
Girls say they are tricked or drugged, then taken across the border by boat, motorbike or car. This river marks the boundary between China and Vietnam in Lao Cai, and is frequently crossed by smugglers. CNN/Scott Clotworthy
Trafficked girls not forced into marriage typically end up as sex workers. Some escape to back to Vietnam with help from the authorities. But cracking down on trafficking is no easy matter, as the mountainous terrain of Northern Vietnam makes it difficult to monitor the border. CNN/Scott Clotworthy
A young Vietnamese woman who escaped after being trafficked over the border to China. CNN/Scott Clotworthy
A young woman, left, visits her mother in Northern Vietnam. She was tricked by traffickers into crossing the border to China, but managed to escape before they could force her into a marriage. She is now back in her home country sharing her story to warn vulnerable girls about trafficking. CNN/Scott Clotworthy
Two girls who have escaped trafficking and returned to Vietnam share their personal experiences to warn others at a market in Northern Vietnam. CNN/Pamela Boykoff