I interviewed and photographed girls who had escaped. Others were taken as far as the United Arab Emirates, lured by the promise of legitimate jobs and a brighter future.
Once they arrived in the new country, they were priced and sold, and their documents taken away. I grew up in Eastern Europe and met Vika on my second reporting trip to Moldova.
Chakarova is currently the photo series curator of Flash Point, FRONTLINE/World's slideshow series.
Four years ago, I began a photo project on the sex trafficking of young women in Eastern Europe.
Dubai has been described as the Las Vegas of the Middle East.
Dubai's free trade zone is a major enticement for foreign investors, and the boomtown atmosphere has attracted more than 180 nationalities to come live and work here.
The young women told me they were forced to service mechanics, soldiers, priests, butchers, tourists, and even U. (You can hear Vika's story in the Flash Point slideshow, Moldova: The Price of Sex.) She told me she had been trafficked to Dubai, at times serving 30 clients a day.
When I arrived to report this story with my video camerawoman Sachi Cunningham, I was prepared to confront the human degradation of Vika's experience, but I was surprised to find something else.
After hearing Vika's stories, Dubai became a place I felt I had to see to understand.
Emerging as a world business hub in the last decade, the city strives to keep breaking new records: the world's tallest building, the world's first seven star hotel, the world's biggest shopping mall, the world's largest manmade port.
Chakarova is the recipient of the 2003 Dorothea Lange Fellowship for documentary photography and the 2005 Magnum Photos Inge Morath Award for her photo work on trafficking in Eastern Europe, which she has reported on for the last four years.
Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism for 10 years.
I met women working as prostitutes who told me that they were doing so because they had chosen to.