BLOG

Welcome to the Human Trafficking Search Blog. Since 2013, HTS has produced weekly blogs related to human trafficking and modern-day slavery. We’ve covered topics such as sex trafficking, labor trafficking, child trafficking, modern slavery, forced and child marriage, child soldiers, and more, and invite you to search the blog for articles related to your topic or region of interest.

How Child Labor Could Be Fueling Your Electric Car

In December last year, a landmark legal case was launched against the world’s largest tech companies globally by fourteen Congolese families whose children had either been killed or maimed while mining for cobalt. Several high-profile companies, including Tesla,...
Gifts

An Anti-Trafficking Holiday Shopping Guide

The gift-giving season is upon us. In the United States alone, holiday retail sales surpassed $1 trillion in 2019. But among these millions of purchases hides a dark secret. Of the approximately 25 million people in situations of forced labor worldwide, 16 million...

Nebraska, Utah Vote to Eliminate Slavery as Punishment for a Crime

Slavery or involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime is legal in the United States and that must end.  The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude for most, but carved out an exception for those convicted of a...

Four Ways the Current Administration has Weakened Protections Against Labor Exploitation and Trafficking

The current administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on its broader attack on workers’ rights. Despite the desperate need for enhanced worker protections as the pandemic continues, the White House budget request for FY 2021 seeks an 11...
Migrant Fisherman in Central Java

The Moment of Truth for the Global Seafood Industry

On September 30, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that fish harvested by the distant water fishing (DWF) fleets of Taiwan and China Mainland were added to its 2020 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor (List). The addition of Taiwan and...
incarcerated firefighters

Incarcerated Firefighters

As the world contends with the coronavirus, and the United States reckons with systemic racism, the West Coast is being ravaged by wildfires.  Climate change which has led to “[h]otter temperatures, less dependable precipitation and snowpack that melts sooner, leads...
coffee cup and beans

There Could be Labor Exploitation in Your Coffee Cup: Here’s How It Got There

Around the world, approximately 26 million people work on coffee plantations every year. Men, women, and children labor in countries along the equator picking the beans that, through murky supply chains, eventually end up in your local grocery store or café. But...

Race and Intersectional Identities within Modern Slavery and Human Rights

2020 has been an unprecedented year for many communities across the world as we face the impact of COVID-19. Families that come from low economic backgrounds are losing their employment with no way of maintaining a stable income. Many are also faced with the...

Is Freedom for India’s Children Only a Temporary Respite?

The children traveled on foot.  And by train. Desperate to return home to Bihar, the children fled factories in Jaipur, where some had toiled in forced labor. COVID-19 spurred this migration of children in India. Before the pandemic, these children made bangles to...

Solidarity Against Modern Slavery During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the lack of protection policies in place to prevent millions of people from being coerced under threat into modern slavery. As this crisis continues into the foreseeable future, we need to call on countries to ensure that their...
Trafficking in Persons Report

The Department of State’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report

In June, the 2020 US Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) was released. The TIP Report is the United States government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. Although other trafficking reports exist around the world, the TIP...

Addressing Human Trafficking: Let’s Shift the Onus from Individuals to Businesses and Policy Makers

Introduction When it comes to human trafficking, the rising role of citizens’ self-regulatory behaviour – through eating Fairtrade produce, avoiding blatantly cheap carwashes, social media campaigns, and partaking in clothes-swaps – is admirable, useful and...
Child using laptop

Why Online Exploitation Is The Next Public Health Crisis

When the novel coronavirus was first recognized as a serious threat, health officials warned that individuals should socially distance and wash their hands, and government leaders issued stay at home orders and closed restaurants, schools and other public places in an...
Prison Labor

Is Prison Labor Hiding in Your Portfolio?

The descendants of slaves continue to be disproportionately imprisoned as if forever destined to be the source of cheap production costs and wide profit margins. In today’s markets, cheap labor is an avidly sought commodity and in the U.S., prison labor is a hidden...
Peaceful Protest

The Protesters and Prison Labor

Human Trafficking Search stands with the protestors and their work to reform systems that entrench inequality and injustice, including mass incarceration of African-Americans.  As the Black Lives Matter movement moves to Congress and seeks new legislative initiatives,...
Domestic Worker

Domestic Workers, Forced Labor, and the Locked Doors of Covid-19

In October 2019,  BBC News Arabic conducted an undercover investigation in the Middle East. Two reporters, posing as a husband and wife, made a horrifying discovery: thousands of domestic workers for sale as chattel on internet apps. This booming on-line black market...
Prison Labor

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 3: Incarcerated Workers and COVID-19

This is the final part in a three-part blog series authored by Polaris to introduce the issue.  The first two blogs focused on how human trafficking and prison labor are connected and the different types of prison labor that exist.  As COVID-19 spreads across the...

After Decades of Voluntary Corporate Efforts, Child Labor is Still Being Used to Make Chocolate

For two decades, child labor in cocoa growing areas in West Africa has been well known, and despite voluntary corporate commitments, we are still seeing children working to produce cocoa for chocolate bars. Recently, Reuters got a hold of a leaked draft of a study...
Woman wearing face mask

COVID-19 and Human Trafficking

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has resulted in widespread stay at home orders, shuttering businesses and creating mass layoffs.  Human traffickers prey on those who are economically vulnerable which has some experts concerned that the virus could lead to an...
Coronavirus Disease

State-level Guidance Relating to COVID-19 and Foster Care

Human Trafficking Search conducted research on the intersection of foster care and human trafficking.  There are many reasons a child ends up in foster care, the most common according to our research are parental substance abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence or...
Domestic violence

Coronavirus and Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse

The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has swept the nation.  People are being advised to stay at home and to practice social distancing.  Restaurants and bars are closing or drastically curtailing operations, schools are being closed, events are being cancelled,...
blockchain

Tackling Modern Slavery with Blockchain

For more than a decade, the international anti-modern slavery community has not come close to meeting its full potential. A staggering 40 million men, women and children are reportedly trapped in modern slavery globally through coercion, fraud or illegitimate labor...

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 2: Understanding the Types of Prison Labor

Most people assume that in 1865 with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment slavery in the United States was abolished. However, forced labor still exists in the United States today through the exception built into the Thirteenth Amendment for those who have been “duly convicted of a crime”. This exception made it legal and permissible to continue slavery within prisons in the United States. This is commonly known now as prison labor.

Prison

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 1: An Overview

This is the first in a three-part blog series authored by Polaris to introduce the issue.  Read part two here, and part three here. The United States defines labor trafficking as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor...
tech and trafficking

How Can Mobile Technology Help Detect and Mitigate Migrants’ Labor Abuse in Global Supply Chains?

You have a friend who has a friend who was able to send enough money back home to his family and they now live in a nicer home. With few employment opportunities in your community, you find a person who introduces you to another person in the city who helps you sign...

Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl

On February 2, the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida.  Leading up to mega-sporting events there are a plethora of media stories warning of the spike in sex trafficking.  One study found that...
human trafficking

The Current Administration Claims to Want to Fight Human Trafficking. But Its Policies Undermine Trafficking Victims.

The current administration has claimed that one of its highest priorities is fighting human trafficking. But significant changes to immigration policies over the past two years are at odds with this goal. Instead of reducing trafficking, the current administration may...
migrant workers

Remediation and Elimination of Recruitment Costs Charged to Migrant Workers

Guest post by Verité, originally posted on Verité's website   Migrant workers are frequently confronted with a choice: pay illegal or unethical recruitment fees for employment abroad or go without work altogether. To finance these exorbitant costs, they may take...

Slave-free Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is upon us.  Along with cookie exchanges and holiday parties, many of us mark the season by buying numerous gifts, anywhere from a bag of coffee for the neighbors to a new computer for our spouse. This holiday season, Human Trafficking Search...

Preventing Goods Made with Forced Labor from Entering the United States

Forced labor is used to produce a wide array of goods.  For example, The New York Times, produced a series that detailed conditions of forced labor for fishers, particularly on Thai fishing vessels.  The cotton campaign has raised awareness and advocated for an end to...
trafficking truck stops

Truck Stops and Trafficking

Throughout the holiday season, many people take long road trips to visit family and friends. The week of Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year in the United States, with 54 percent more drivers taking long trips than at any other time of the year.   Truck stops and rest stops along heavily populated highways are popular locations for sex traffickers to sell their victims.

Bringing “The Transformation” to Trafficked Girls in LA; An Interview with Toni Bankston, LCSW [Part 3]

James S. Gordon, author of “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma“, interviews Toni Bankston, a clinical social worker and Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)

Candy

What’s in Your Chocolate this Halloween?

The majority of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, comes from just two countries – Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire.  In both countries child labor in the cocoa sector is prevalent. 

Bringing “The Transformation” to Trafficked Girls in LA; An Interview with Toni Bankston, LCSW [Part 2]

James S. Gordon, author of “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma“, interviews Toni Bankston, a clinical social worker and Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)

Bringing “The Transformation” to Trafficked Girls in LA; An Interview with Toni Bankston, LCSW [Part 1]

James S. Gordon, author of “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma”, interviews Toni Bankston, a clinical social worker and Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)

Migrant farm workers, immigrant agriculture work, human trafficking, contratados.

Spotlighting Action: Migrants Empowering Migrant Guestworkers through the Power of Information and Technology at Contratados.org

Contratados.org is a portal, made by immigrants, for immigrant guestworkers, that provides secure anonymous employer reviews. This allows migrants in the guestworker program to regain some power in the inherently employer-favored power dynamic that the H2-A and H2-B guestworker visas promote.

Tea plantation human trafficking india

Copy of – What’s Behind Your Cup of Tea?

70,000 cups of tea are consumed globally every second! As the world’s top beverage after water, learn how this massive industry is key in combatting unfair labor practices.

top states for human trafficking map

Worst States for Human Trafficking 2015-2017

Find out what states have the most trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline

Liverpool Soccer Football Anti-slavery Human Trafficking Accountability

Liverpool Football Club’s Anti-Slavery Statement, an Industry Model

Liverpool, a top football club, is setting a positive example for the sport’s industry with their newly released anti-trafficking statement. This kind of corporate responsibility should be enacted in all industries to effectively fight human trafficking.

Tea plantation human trafficking india

What’s Behind Your Cup of Tea?

70,000 cups of tea are consumed globally every second! As the world’s top beverage after water, learn how this massive industry is key in combatting unfair labor practices.

about human trafficking search

How Europe’s Migration Policy Helps Human Traffickers

The money invested by Europe to prevent migrants from landing on its shores essentially subsidizes and boosts human smuggling profits. The more complex the border crossing, the more sophisticated the help that is needed. The more involved and risky the assistance, the more expensive it is, leading to an increase in fees, leading to more pay-later schemes – creating optimal conditions for human trafficking. Read more on how European immigration policies are bolstering the trafficking economy.

brexit help human traffickers

Will Brexit Benefit Human Traffickers? The Increased Risks in a Post-Brexit Europe

Experts worry that Brexit will result in a surge of trafficking victims, and present new obstacles to prevention and prosecution. Although the UK has made tackling human trafficking a priority, there are as yet no detailed proposals for how to ensure that Brexit does not hinder the fight against modern slavery.

Can we candidly discuss “the girlfriend experience” and sex trafficking of girls with intellectual disabilities?

One popular way to make light of harm linked to illegal or legal prostitution and to engender empathy for buyers of sex is by promoting the notion that buyers of sex are primarily seeking to buy “the girlfriend experience” – a way to get their emotional intimacy...
when overtime becomes slave-like labor

Inside Hungary: When Overtime Becomes Slave-like Labor

In Hungary, laborers who are pushed to their limit, working up to 400 hours of overtime, may not see compensation for up to three years, if ever. Thousands have been protesting an overtime labor law passed in Hungary on December 12, 2018, a country where such...
border wall

Human Trafficking Meets Human Smuggling at the Southern Border

The nexus of human trafficking and human smuggling, two related but different crimes, is in the spotlight as President Trump stresses the need for a border wall to stop human trafficking. Human trafficking is defined by the U.S. State Department as “a crime involving...
unaccompanied minors

Thousands of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors, Unaccounted for

On August 16, 2018, the Senate Homeland Security’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that 1,488 unaccompanied border crossing minors who were transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) between April 1 and June 30, 2018, and...
is it slavery?

IS IT SLAVERY? CULTURAL COMPETENCE VERSUS CULTURAL RELATIVISM

William is a 14-year-old orphan from Uganda. After his parents died, his mother’s relatives took him in to live with them in Kampala. They paid for him to go to school and provided him with room and board. In return, he worked for the family. He fetched water, cleaned...
working with interpreters

Working with Interpreters

Identifying victims, interviewing survivors, and designing interventions for recovery all often require the assistance of an interpreter. Interpretation is an art as much as it is a science. It is wrought with cultural and political pitfalls for even the most skilled...
truckers against trafficking logo

Spotlighting Action: Truckers Against Trafficking

This week we feature an organization, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), for the innovative way they are contributing to the fight against human trafficking. TAT works directly within a key industry, turns bystanders into a force against trafficking, trains law...

Can we candidly discuss “the girlfriend experience” and sex trafficking of girls with intellectual disabilities?

One popular way to make light of harm linked to illegal or legal prostitution and to engender empathy for buyers of sex is by promoting the notion that buyers of sex are primarily seeking to buy “the girlfriend experience” – a way to get their emotional intimacy...

Search the Blog

How Child Labor Could Be Fueling Your Electric Car

How Child Labor Could Be Fueling Your Electric Car

In December last year, a landmark legal case was launched against the world’s largest tech companies globally by fourteen Congolese families whose children had either been killed or maimed while mining for cobalt. Several high-profile companies, including Tesla,...

An Anti-Trafficking Holiday Shopping Guide

An Anti-Trafficking Holiday Shopping Guide

The gift-giving season is upon us. In the United States alone, holiday retail sales surpassed $1 trillion in 2019. But among these millions of purchases hides a dark secret. Of the approximately 25 million people in situations of forced labor worldwide, 16 million...

The Moment of Truth for the Global Seafood Industry

The Moment of Truth for the Global Seafood Industry

On September 30, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that fish harvested by the distant water fishing (DWF) fleets of Taiwan and China Mainland were added to its 2020 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor (List). The addition of Taiwan and...

Incarcerated Firefighters

Incarcerated Firefighters

As the world contends with the coronavirus, and the United States reckons with systemic racism, the West Coast is being ravaged by wildfires.  Climate change which has led to “[h]otter temperatures, less dependable precipitation and snowpack that melts sooner, leads...

Is Freedom for India’s Children Only a Temporary Respite?

The children traveled on foot.  And by train. Desperate to return home to Bihar, the children fled factories in Jaipur, where some had toiled in forced labor. COVID-19 spurred this migration of children in India. Before the pandemic, these children made bangles to...

Solidarity Against Modern Slavery During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the lack of protection policies in place to prevent millions of people from being coerced under threat into modern slavery. As this crisis continues into the foreseeable future, we need to call on countries to ensure that their...

The Department of State’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report

The Department of State’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report

In June, the 2020 US Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) was released. The TIP Report is the United States government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. Although other trafficking reports exist around the world, the TIP...

Why Online Exploitation Is The Next Public Health Crisis

Why Online Exploitation Is The Next Public Health Crisis

When the novel coronavirus was first recognized as a serious threat, health officials warned that individuals should socially distance and wash their hands, and government leaders issued stay at home orders and closed restaurants, schools and other public places in an...

Is Prison Labor Hiding in Your Portfolio?

Is Prison Labor Hiding in Your Portfolio?

The descendants of slaves continue to be disproportionately imprisoned as if forever destined to be the source of cheap production costs and wide profit margins. In today’s markets, cheap labor is an avidly sought commodity and in the U.S., prison labor is a hidden...

The Protesters and Prison Labor

The Protesters and Prison Labor

Human Trafficking Search stands with the protestors and their work to reform systems that entrench inequality and injustice, including mass incarceration of African-Americans.  As the Black Lives Matter movement moves to Congress and seeks new legislative initiatives,...

COVID-19 and Human Trafficking

COVID-19 and Human Trafficking

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has resulted in widespread stay at home orders, shuttering businesses and creating mass layoffs.  Human traffickers prey on those who are economically vulnerable which has some experts concerned that the virus could lead to an...

State-level Guidance Relating to COVID-19 and Foster Care

State-level Guidance Relating to COVID-19 and Foster Care

Human Trafficking Search conducted research on the intersection of foster care and human trafficking.  There are many reasons a child ends up in foster care, the most common according to our research are parental substance abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence or...

Coronavirus and Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse

Coronavirus and Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse

The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has swept the nation.  People are being advised to stay at home and to practice social distancing.  Restaurants and bars are closing or drastically curtailing operations, schools are being closed, events are being cancelled,...

Tackling Modern Slavery with Blockchain

Tackling Modern Slavery with Blockchain

For more than a decade, the international anti-modern slavery community has not come close to meeting its full potential. A staggering 40 million men, women and children are reportedly trapped in modern slavery globally through coercion, fraud or illegitimate labor...

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 2:  Understanding the Types of Prison Labor

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 2: Understanding the Types of Prison Labor

Most people assume that in 1865 with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment slavery in the United States was abolished. However, forced labor still exists in the United States today through the exception built into the Thirteenth Amendment for those who have been “duly convicted of a crime”. This exception made it legal and permissible to continue slavery within prisons in the United States. This is commonly known now as prison labor.

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 1: An Overview

Human Trafficking and Prison Labor, Part 1: An Overview

This is the first in a three-part blog series authored by Polaris to introduce the issue.  Read part two here, and part three here. The United States defines labor trafficking as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor...

Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl

Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl

On February 2, the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida.  Leading up to mega-sporting events there are a plethora of media stories warning of the spike in sex trafficking.  One study found that...

Slave-free Holiday Shopping

Slave-free Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is upon us.  Along with cookie exchanges and holiday parties, many of us mark the season by buying numerous gifts, anywhere from a bag of coffee for the neighbors to a new computer for our spouse. This holiday season, Human Trafficking Search...

Truck Stops and Trafficking

Truck Stops and Trafficking

Throughout the holiday season, many people take long road trips to visit family and friends. The week of Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year in the United States, with 54 percent more drivers taking long trips than at any other time of the year.   Truck stops and rest stops along heavily populated highways are popular locations for sex traffickers to sell their victims.

What’s in Your Chocolate this Halloween?

What’s in Your Chocolate this Halloween?

The majority of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, comes from just two countries – Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire.  In both countries child labor in the cocoa sector is prevalent. 

What’s Behind Your Cup of Tea?

What’s Behind Your Cup of Tea?

70,000 cups of tea are consumed globally every second! As the world’s top beverage after water, learn how this massive industry is key in combatting unfair labor practices.

How Europe’s Migration Policy Helps Human Traffickers

How Europe’s Migration Policy Helps Human Traffickers

The money invested by Europe to prevent migrants from landing on its shores essentially subsidizes and boosts human smuggling profits. The more complex the border crossing, the more sophisticated the help that is needed. The more involved and risky the assistance, the more expensive it is, leading to an increase in fees, leading to more pay-later schemes – creating optimal conditions for human trafficking. Read more on how European immigration policies are bolstering the trafficking economy.

Inside Hungary: When Overtime Becomes Slave-like Labor

Inside Hungary: When Overtime Becomes Slave-like Labor

In Hungary, laborers who are pushed to their limit, working up to 400 hours of overtime, may not see compensation for up to three years, if ever. Thousands have been protesting an overtime labor law passed in Hungary on December 12, 2018, a country where such...

Human Trafficking Meets Human Smuggling at the Southern Border

Human Trafficking Meets Human Smuggling at the Southern Border

The nexus of human trafficking and human smuggling, two related but different crimes, is in the spotlight as President Trump stresses the need for a border wall to stop human trafficking. Human trafficking is defined by the U.S. State Department as “a crime involving...

Thousands of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors, Unaccounted for

Thousands of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors, Unaccounted for

On August 16, 2018, the Senate Homeland Security’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that 1,488 unaccompanied border crossing minors who were transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) between April 1 and June 30, 2018, and...

Working with Interpreters

Working with Interpreters

Identifying victims, interviewing survivors, and designing interventions for recovery all often require the assistance of an interpreter. Interpretation is an art as much as it is a science. It is wrought with cultural and political pitfalls for even the most skilled...

Spotlighting Action: Truckers Against Trafficking

Spotlighting Action: Truckers Against Trafficking

This week we feature an organization, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), for the innovative way they are contributing to the fight against human trafficking. TAT works directly within a key industry, turns bystanders into a force against trafficking, trains law...