Archive for the ‘Learn More’ Category

Live in Oakland, but still have a hard time believing that sex trafficking is happening right in your area code? Read the nine stories in here on Oakland Local, and get ready to face the hard truth. Here’s the summary of the series: “Investigative reporters Barbara Grady and Sarah Terry-Cobo spent six weeks on “the track,” Oakland’s International Boulevard, talking with survivors, police, social services advocates and the district attorney’s office to get inside the booming problem of trafficked youth in Oakland.”
Read the full stories here.

Oakland Local is an independent, non-profit community news and information hub, connecting community and news, that launched on Oct. 19, 2009. Their site combines original investigative and feature reporting with community news and information from 35 Oakland non-profit organizations and community groups and many engaged citizens from around the city.


They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, and in these cases, they’re right: a thousand serious words. Found these images over at MathMortician. To get the facts on trafficking and slavery behind these posters, browse the rest of the site, or investigate some of the links and literature listed in the other “learn more” posts.

The U.S. State Department has an Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and since 2001 they’ve released an annual report summarizing efforts on the issue. We’ve copied here former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s introductory letter from 2007, which is especially well-written.

Read the full Trafficking in Persons Reports here.

* * *

June 12, 2007

Dear Reader:

Two hundred years ago, the British Parliament outlawed the trans-Atlantic slave trade, culminating a decades-long struggle led by William Wilberforce.

Trafficking in persons is a modern-day form of slavery, a new type of global slave trade. Perpetrators prey on the most weak among us, primarily women and children, for profit and gain. They lure victims into involuntary servitude and sexual slavery. Today we are again called by conscience to end the debasement of our fellow men and women. As in the 19th century, committed abolitionists around the world have come together in a global movement to confront this repulsive crime. President George W. Bush has committed the United States Government to lead in combating this serious 21st century challenge, and all nations that are resolved to end human trafficking have a strong partner in the United States.

The seventh annual Trafficking in Persons Report documents efforts by foreign governments to prevent human trafficking, prosecute criminals, and protect their victims. The report probes even the darkest places, calling to account any country, friend or foe, that is not doing enough to combat human trafficking.

The power of shame has stirred many to action and sparked unprecedented reforms; and the growing awareness has prompted important progress in combating this crime and assisting its victims wherever they are found.

Defeating human trafficking is a great moral calling of our day. Together with our allies and friends, we will continue our efforts to bring this cruel practice to an end. Thank you for joining the new abolitionist movement. Together we can make a difference, and together we can build a safer, freer, and more prosperous world for all.


Condoleezza Rice

Indian child working at a brick factory

Are you ready? There is no going back.

Since you’re online, the Free the Slaves and International Justice Mission web sites are a great place to start.

For a brief introduction, and for auditory learners, this talk by Kevin Bales (University of Surrey professor and leading slavery scholar) is a great place to start. If you’d prefer to watch a movie, we recommend Call+Response, a “rockumentary” involving several notable actresses and musicians.

For book-length treatments of the subject, pick up Disposable People (also by Kevin Bales), his pioneering study of slavery around the world today. Not for Sale, by David Batstone, is a similarly well-researched tour of representative examples of slavery in various countries worldwide; he is a University of California journalism professor. Escaping the Devil’s Bedroom and Terrify no More focus on prostitution, the latter discussing International Justice Mission’s sometimes-dramatic work rescuing enslaved women.

National Geographic also did a story (September 2003 issue) on 21st-century slaves, with their trademark compelling photos. Read an excerpt here.