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Girls as young as 12 work in brothels and are forced to have sex with up to 30 customers a day, while virgin girls are recruited at schools, she said. Traffickers often target poor, uneducated and unemployed women and girls, luring them with false promises of earning money as a waitress or model, UNICEF said.
She said such violence prompts boys and girls to run away from home, leaving them prey to sexual exploitation by traffickers. The U. Mothers who are known to sell their children into the sex trade are often themselves victims of trafficking or domestic abuse. These include a anti-trafficking law, a protocol implemented in to guide officials when assisting victims, and greater focus on combating the online child sex trade.
Despite these efforts, there are just two prosecutors working on sex trafficking cases across the country, and the number of trafficking convictions in Guatemala remains low, the U. In , the Guatemalan authorities convicted 20 human traffickers, according to the U. State Department report on human trafficking.
Reporting by Anastasia Moloney, editing by Katie Nguyen. Discover Thomson Reuters. Directory of sites. United States. World News. Anastasia Moloney. Guatemala has introduced several initiatives and laws to tackle human trafficking.