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The United Mexican States [map] is a North American republic bordered by the United States (N), by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea (E), by Belize and Guatemala (SE), and by the Pacific Ocean (S & W). Mexico is divided into 31 states and the Federal District, which includes most of the country's capital and largest city, Mexico City. Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. Forty three per cent of its population are children under the age of 18. Due to poverty, many children migrate, with or without their families, within rural areas, from rural to urban areas, among urban areas, and to the United States. This results in family instability and a large number of working children.
Mexico is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of victims trafficked into the country come from Central America, destined for Mexico or the United States. A lesser number of victims come from South America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. A significant number of Mexican women, girls, and boys are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation, often lured from poor rural regions to urban, border, and tourist areas through false offers of employment; many are beaten, threatened, and forced into prostitution. Sex tourism, including child sex tourism, appears to be growing, especially in tourist areas such as Acapulco and Cancun, and border towns like Tijuana; foreign pedophiles arrive most often from Western Europe and the United States.