Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Lecture Resources


[Lecture Resources | Resources for Teachers | Country-by-Country Reports ]

Deception of Victims



Argentina Rescues 700 from Human Traffickers in 7 Months

Victoria Rossi, In Sight, 21 August 2012

[accessed 11 June 2013]

Most of the trafficking victims, principally women and children, had been sexually exploited and forced into labor, the report by the Office for Rescue and Care of Victims of Trafficking stated. Of the 712 people recovered during more than 300 raids across the country, 85 were below the age of 18. Nearly 370 hailed from outside Argentina.

Many of the victims were financially desperate and had been lured by false advertisements for nanny or modeling positions, said Zaida Gatti, the coordinator of rescue efforts, reported El Universal newspaper. Others had been kidnapped, Gatti said.




Kin of human trafficking victims seek Government intervention

Asian News International ANI, Kendrapara Orissa, June 10, 2007

[accessed 20 February 2011]

"Our brothers (in Malaysia) are being tortured by their employers. They get meals only once a day and are made to work for more then 12 hours a day," Behra added.

A Bhubaneswar-based placement agency lured seven youths of Kendrapara District's Mangalpur and Raghunathpur villages with an offer of lucrative job at Omega Wood Industry in Kuala Lumpur.  The youths also paid the placement agency over 100,000 rupees for a job in Malaysia.

The moment they landed in Kuala Lumpur on January 10, their passports and visas were snatched by a member of the placement agency.  They were then taken to the jungles. But instead of getting an office job, they were forced to do physical labour and were kept in inhuman conditions.




Nigeria's 'respectable' slave trade

Allan Little, BBC correspondent Nigeria, 17 April 2004

[accessed 13 December 2010]

It starts with the promise of a better life.  The parents are taken in. The children are persuaded. When they leave home they do so willingly, with some excitement, not trepidation.  The trafficker has promised a good job, a schooling, a regular income. But that is not how it works out.



Peru, Japan

Report: Japan Sex Industry Ensnares Latin Women

Associated Press AP, Lima Peru, April 30, 2005

[accessed 18 July 2013]

"The ties between Japan and Peru are larger for historical reasons, for migratory reasons, for all kinds of reasons, than they are between Colombia and Japan. And it's our position right now in the preliminary study that there are many more victims here," he told The Associated Press.

He said a typical trafficking scenario is that of Irene Oblitas, a Peruvian who told her story last year to her country's media. She said that in 1998 she boarded a plane with three Japanese businessmen who had promised her a job in a plastics factory.

When she arrived she was raped by all three men and sold to a Yakuza organized crime boss, who branded her across the chest with a 6-inch (15-centimeter) rose tattoo. He forced her to provide sexual services to up to 40 clients a day, she said.



Philippines & Singapore

Trafficking of Filipinos in Singapore ‘all-time high’

Veronica Uy, Inquirer, Manila, 02/04/2008

[accessed 22 December 2010]

The modus operandi essentially has illegal recruiters promise young women non-existent jobs as waitresses or guest relations officers in restaurants and hotels in Singapore.  They are each charged a minimal S$100 to S$1,000 as recruitment fee in the Philippines, and given roundtrip tickets (sometimes the return ticket is fake), a fake invitation letter, and “show money” for showing to Philippine immigration officials who scrutinize their financial capacity as tourists.  Expecting to work in legitimate jobs, Filipinas end up working as prostitutes. They are forced to provide sexual services to customers and earn commissions from alcoholic drinks to enable them to pay the $1,000 to S$4,000 they allegedly owe their handlers.  The report said victims who fled to the embassy were provided shelter and assisted in their repatriation back to the Philippines. They are interviewed, their affidavit taken, and are advised to file a complaint either in Singapore or in the Philippines.




Tales of sex and sadness from inside Britain's oldest profession

Amelia Hill, The Observer, 23 December 2007

[accessed 19 December 2010]

'I'D BEEN DREAMING OF A FUTURE AS A WIFE AND A MOTHER' - ALMA, 26 - Alma (not her real name) fell in love with a man she met in Poland seven months ago. He said he wanted to introduce her to his family. Under this pretence, he ended up kidnapping her. He used a false passport to bring her to Manchester and force her to work in a brothel.

'I had been working as a waitress, dreaming of a future as a wife and mother,' Alma says. 'This man shared my Muslim religion. I trusted him. When he locked me in his house, took away all my money and possessions, I was terrified. But when he forced me into a car and had a friend drive me to a foreign country where I didn't speak the language or know anyone, I was beside myself . My family went to the police but after a week I knew they wouldn't take me back because, according to our religion, I was ruined.

'He beat me and made me live with another girl who spied on me. She wouldn't leave me for a second and reported to this man if I did anything that looked like trying to escape. He forced me to work in the brothel, but the clients complained because I just cried all the time. The manager asked me what was wrong. I didn't have the language to express myself, but eventually I managed to explain. I don't think she felt sorry for me, but she saw that I wasn't going to earn her brothel any money because I would never willingly work. She helped me to escape and I went to the police. This has damaged my life in all directions. I have no dreams now and no hopes. I have nothing.'



South Africa

Human traffickers aim to exploit 2010

Vivian Attwood, Independent Online (IOL) News, 19 February 2009

[accessed 23 December 2010]

TRUSTED - They were approached by people they knew, and therefore trusted, to leave their homes. En route, they were raped and had their documents confiscated. Some were sold to mine workers in SA, and others were destined for brothels.   The undercover investigation team making the video posed as prospective "clients," asking one trafficker: "How many women can you get us?"   "Depends how many you need," was the response.   When asked what a woman cost, he replied "R1 000, and maybe R150 for the border official."   "How do you make sure the women don't run away when they find they aren't going to be waitressing, but doing sex work?" the interviewer asked.   "Sometimes we rape them. We call it 'washing the hands'," the trafficker said.




Dying to Leave

Thirteen, New York Public Media, September 25th, 2003

[accessed 26 December 2010]

[accessed 18 February 2018]

BACKGROUND - Sex sells in Suriname. An impoverished population and anti-prostitution laws that go unenforced make this former Dutch colony a popular destination for sex industry traffickers. A 1997 UN report noted that Suriname is one of the few countries that also issues temporary work permits for migrant prostitutes allegedly en route to other countries.

With 70 percent of the population living below the poverty line, parents struggling to survive have been known to sell their children in Suriname's various gold mining towns, according to anti-slavery organizations.

In all cases, the set-up story is similar: Promised a decent job as a waitress or other position, women unwittingly sign up with a trafficker for assistance in coming to Paramaribo or Suriname's mining towns, only to find themselves caught in a trafficking ring upon arrival.




Taiwan cracks human-trafficking ring, rescues 35 Indonesian women

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, Taipei, 21 Mar 2007

[accessed 29 August 2014]

According to police, the ring arranged for the Indonesian women to come to Taiwan in arranged marriages, but turned them into slaves after they had arrived on the island.  'They would confiscate the Indonesian women's passports and force them to work in factories, sometimes for up to 18 hours a day, and hand over part of the salary to the human traffickers,' Lai Ching- tzung, spokesman for the Keelung Police Bureau, told reporters

Luciana, one of the victims, said she did not know it was a trick because she had a bona fide wedding with her Taiwanese husband in Indonesia.  'But after he had brought me to Taiwan, he vanished, and the criminal ring forced me to work in a factory in central Taiwan,' she said on TV.




Former Human Trafficking Victim Speaks Out

KGMB CBS 9 News - May 3rd 2008

[accessed 11 June 2013]

HAWAII - This young Tongan named Francis came here in 2001, Lueleni Maka promised him $240 a week. He was paid only $20.  "I ask him about the rest of my money. Said he sent em back to my family, so I called my parents and they said they never get nothing from him," said former victim Francis.

Maka told Francis he would turn him into immigration if he tried to escape the pig farm he stayed at.  "He make me afraid of him. He hit me a couple of times. yeah. metal frames, I get scars on my back from him. Get guys they worse than me. He beat 'em up till blood coming out their mouth and nose. it's very sad. We cannot do nothing. we so scared of him," Francis said.




Human trafficking ‘world-wide epidemic’

Jennifer Daddario Staff Reporter, Cleveland Jewish News, 26 April 2007

[accessed 1 January 2011]

[accessed 1 January 2011]

[scroll down]

One of the stories Bartell related was about Svetlana, a young Russian woman. She was promised a well-paying job in Istanbul, Turkey, by two men. Once she arrived, her passport and money were taken away, and she was locked up and forced into prostitution. Desperate to escape, she jumped out of a window when she was with a customer and fell six stories.  Instead of taking her to the hospital, the customer called the traffickers. Untreated, she ultimately died.




Turkey's sex trade entraps Slavic women

Craig S. Smith, The New York Times, Trabzon, Turkey, 28 June 2005

[accessed 12 September 2011]

[accessed 10 February 2016]

The women arrive here by ferry from across the Black Sea, sometimes dozens at a time. Whatever their real names, they are known in Turkey as Natashas, and often end up working as prostitutes in this country's growing sex trade.

Most come of their own free will, but many end up as virtual slaves, sold from pimp to pimp through a loosely organized criminal network that stretches from Moscow to Istanbul and beyond.




Sex Traffickers Prey On Eastern Europeans

Ron Synovitz & RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 23, 2005

[accessed 5 January 2011]

Maria is a 30-year-old mother from Ukraine who left behind her husband and two young children to take what she was told would be a job in Italy as a cleaner.  The recruiters who originally promised her a high-paying salary were men who posed as representatives of a legitimate employment agency. Maria says they gained her trust because they looked professional and persuasive.

Maria says her nightmare began after she and the other women arrived in Italy and were met by several suspicious men. They were human traffickers in the illegal global sex industry.   "We went there and arrived in one city. They took us to a building on the outskirts of the city and they told us to clean off, to relax from the travel. Later, they confronted us with the fact that we would be providing sex services. It is a shock for a human being. Escape from there was impossible. The windows were barred and there was the constant presence of a guard," Maria said.



Viet NamChina

Trafficking of men appears in border provinces

VietNamNet Bridge, September 27, 2007-- Source: VTV

[accessed 15  August 2012]

Two months ago, a woman came to Phu’s hamlet to recruit workers to work in China with a monthly income of VND3.6 million ($220). Eight young boys, including Phu went with the woman to China but only Phu and another boy named Phan Van Lin could escape from the brick kiln.  “We didn’t know that we were sold till we arrived at the brick kiln. If we didn’t work, we would be beaten by the brick kiln owners,” he said.

Trafficking of women is popular but trafficking of men is still very strange to both the people and state agencies. Young boys like Diu and Phu want to denounce the woman who sold them to China but the Vietnamese laws don’t have regulations on this crime yet.

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