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South-east Asia child trafficking pledge

BBC World Service, Friday 28 November 1997; 12:29 GMT

Officials from south-east Asian countries have agreed to co-operate to help the growing number of victims of trafficking in women and children in the region.

At the end of a meeting in Bangkok, the six nations Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Burma, as well as China agreed to ensure that existing laws were used to protect victims of trafficking and not to punish them as illegal migrants.

They also decided to develop a joint policy to combat the problem.

Correspondents say the trafficking of children into prostitution has become the world's most lucrative illegal trade after drugs and arms.