Special Report: Human Trafficking
WGBH News reporter Phillip Martin, in collaboration with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and the Ford Foundation, traveled in the U.S. and across Asia to explore the modern slave trade of human trafficking. Roll over the points on the map to see where he went, and click the links below to read or listen to his reports.
Part 1: Hiding in Plain Sight
On a warm October night, the small, affluent town of Wellesley has better things to think about than human trafficking. But on this night, Wellesley went from a town renowned for its colleges and highly educated residents to a place where cops busted an alleged prostitution ring that operated out of a massage parlor.
Part 2: The Route Through Queens
Without ever knowing it, you’ve driven the same routes, passed the same landmarks and used the same rest stops as today’s human trafficking networks that operate from New York to New England.
Part 3: The Business of Trafficking
Why would someone fly 8,500 miles and spend $4,000 dollars to pony up to a bar in Pattaya, Thailand?
“If they go into Pattaya, it’s not because Pattaya has nice beaches. It’s because it has sex tourism.”
Part 4: One Town in Thailand
Pattaya, Thailand's famed nightlife is already in full swing. Pattaya is a “Wild West” of bars, massage parlors, brothels and strip clubs. I watch as inebriated men wander up and down the red-light district with its neon-sketched bars to the left and right.
Part 5: Taken into China
Vietnam is losing its children.
For years, girls and young women have been taken — kidnapped and trafficked across the border into Cambodia and southern China. Many disappear into big cities.
Part 6: Trading in Shame
Phillip Martin travels Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to the home of a man whose 19-year old daughter was just rescued from a brothel in China. The neighbors don’t know it.
Part 7: Modern Day Slavery in America
If you think slavery ended in 1865, think again. Human traffickers have picked up where Jim Crow left off.
Part 8: What Now?
Individuals can take heroic steps to stop human trafficking, like the cab driver in Saigon who rescued 11- and 12-year-olds enslaved in garment factories.
Web Extra: The New Abolitionists
Profiles of the people in the U.S. and Asia who are working to end human trafficking where they live.
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