Complete coverage on

Human Trafficking

Underage sex trafficking is an awful thing, on that we can all agree. But the growing clamor by individual U.S. states for the shutdown of Village Voice Media's web-based advertising site, Backpage.com, is panicky, scattershot, legally suspect and potentially just as dangerous.

Latest Stories

Lawyer defends adult service ads on siteupdated: Fri Jun 08 2012 09:53:00

CNN's Anderson Cooper talks to the lawyer for Village Voice Media about adult ads on backpage.com.

South American bishops pledge to fight human traffickingupdated: Wed May 30 2012 07:10:00

Dozens of Roman Catholic bishops in South America say human trafficking has seen "alarming growth" in the region.

Protect immigrant women from violenceupdated: Wed May 16 2012 08:08:00

Nicole came to the United States from Indonesia on a temporary fiancée visa, fully expecting that she would enjoy life in a new country with the U.S. citizen she intended to marry. Instead, she found herself trapped as a victim of sex trafficking.

Is website to blame for killings?updated: Thu Mar 01 2012 10:24:00

Should websites be responsible for crimes connected to escort ads? AC360 spoke to Backpage.com's law enforcement adviser.

Fighting sex trafficking in hotels, one room at a timeupdated: Thu Mar 01 2012 10:24:00

Kimberly Ritter could not believe what she was seeing.

Google joins fight against slavery with $11.5 million grantupdated: Wed Dec 14 2011 06:04:00

Google Inc. announced Wednesday that it's providing $11.5 million in grants to 10 organizations working to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Google joins the fight to end slaveryupdated: Wed Dec 14 2011 06:04:00

CNN's Hala Gorani reports on what Google is doing in the battle to end modern- day slavery.

China busts child trafficking ringupdated: Thu Dec 08 2011 11:19:00

Chinese police bust two child-trafficking rings, rescuing 179 children after a six-month nationwide investigation.

Hundreds arrested as China police smash child-trafficking ringupdated: Thu Dec 08 2011 11:19:00

Chinese police have busted two child-trafficking rings after a six-month nationwide investigation, rescuing 178 children and arresting 608 suspects, the country's Ministry of Public Security announced this week.

Lawrence Taylor's accuser sues, alleges assaultupdated: Mon Nov 28 2011 19:14:00

Former NFL star Lawrence Taylor, who pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a teenager last year, was sued by the victim in federal court in New York on Monday.

Stop the scourge of child traffickingupdated: Thu Nov 03 2011 16:02:00

My commitment to the cause of stopping the exploitation of children was born from a humbling experience. In 2002, I witnessed the horrors of human trafficking as we rescued three trembling girls living on the impoverished streets of India. Preventing these girls from falling prey to this horrendous crime was a personal awakening.

Spanish police arrest suspected Chinese mafia membersupdated: Wed Oct 05 2011 13:11:00

Police in Barcelona have arrested 39 members of a suspected Chinese mafia and freed 30 young Chinese women whom they allegedly forced into prostitution, a senior officer of the Catalan regional police told CNN Wednesday.

No asylum seekers to Malaysiaupdated: Thu Sep 01 2011 22:29:00

A high court in Australia ruled the country can't send asylum seekers to Malaysia. Australia's Network 7 reports.

Australia grapples with policy on asylum seekersupdated: Thu Sep 01 2011 22:29:00

Abdul Farid Sufizada knew he was in trouble when a Russian-built jeep pulled up to his grocery shop one afternoon in northern Afghanistan. An unknown man jumped out and blindfolded him. He was shoved into the backseat and taken to an underground location where the Taliban had gathered a group of local young men.

Pimps feed on twisting Californian dreamupdated: Wed Aug 10 2011 12:54:00

"Hello? Hey, what are you doing, girl? You just woke up? You going to be free to hang out in a little bit?" Shane, a vice unit undercover investigator, is on the phone with a woman who placed an online ad offering adult services.

Rescuing girls from sex traffickingupdated: Tue Aug 02 2011 15:37:00

CNN's Mallika Kapur reports on Indian police efforts to crack down on the trafficking of underage prostitutes.

Hotel chain boosting staff training to fight child prostitutionupdated: Fri Jul 29 2011 18:18:00

Hotel operator Wyndham Worldwide will improve its staff training and procedures after authorities cracked down on gang-led child prostitution rings in California hotels, a probe that drew media and activist attention to the chain, a hotel spokesman said Friday.

Mexican police arrest more than 1,000 in human trafficking raidsupdated: Mon Jul 25 2011 10:28:00

Authorities in Ciudad Juarez arrested more than 1,000 people over the weekend in an operation aimed at cracking down on human trafficking, police said.

Dramatic TV ads sell anti-human-trafficking message: 'Don't Be Fooled'updated: Tue Jul 19 2011 22:28:00

The TV ads are dramatic, foreboding, and heavily suggestive of violence and sexual exploitation.

Mexico changes constitution to combat human traffickingupdated: Thu Jul 14 2011 07:57:00

Mexico's president approved several changes to the country's constitution Wednesday aimed at cracking down on human trafficking.

Mexican judge sentences 4 in human trafficking caseupdated: Tue Jun 28 2011 22:49:00

A federal judge in Mexico has sentenced four people to a minimum of 16 1/2 years each behind bars for human trafficking, the Mexican attorney general's office said Tuesday, marking a rare conviction in a country struggling to get a grip on the illegal trade.

EU fight against traffickingupdated: Mon Jun 27 2011 15:33:00

The OSCE coordinator for combatting human trafficking outlines challenges and successes in the modern slavery fight.

State Department report ranks countries on human traffickingupdated: Mon Jun 27 2011 15:33:00

Human trafficking is flourishing in the Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran, with little effort by the countries' governments to combat it, the U.S. State Department said Monday.

The fight to end sex traffickingupdated: Thu Jun 23 2011 17:48:00

Anuradha Koirala was honored as the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year at CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.

CNN Hero working harder than ever to stop sex traffickingupdated: Thu Jun 23 2011 17:48:00

More than 17,000 women and girls from Nepal become sex slaves every year. Many end up in India, China or other Southeast Asian countries, and roughly half of them are children.

Jury convicts Georgia woman of trafficking 2 Nigerian womenupdated: Mon Jun 13 2011 20:47:00

A Georgia woman has been convicted of human trafficking and other charges for bringing two Nigerian women to the United States and forcing them to work in her lavish home like slaves, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday.

Study finds 'alarming' human trafficking figures in Mexico's capitalupdated: Fri May 27 2011 11:15:00

While an estimated 10,000 women are victims of human trafficking in Mexico's capital, there were only 40 investigations of the crime and three convictions in the city last year, according to a report issued this week.

Young advocates fight human traffickingupdated: Thu May 26 2011 06:49:00

CNN reports how young activists are ready to lead the fight against global slavery.

Sheriff's deputy, 2 others arrested in Arizona human trafficking bustupdated: Thu May 26 2011 06:49:00

Authorities in Arizona have arrested three employees of a sheriff's office known for its tough stand on illegal immigration, accusing them of aiding human traffickers and drug smugglers.

'Real Men Don't Buy Girls'updated: Fri Apr 15 2011 07:20:00

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher launch anti-sex trafficking ad.

Moore, Kutcher: Join our crusade to end child sex traffickingupdated: Fri Apr 15 2011 07:20:00

"There's between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today," Ashton Kutcher tells CNN's Piers Morgan. "If you don't do something to stop that -- that's when there's something wrong with you."

The CNN Freedom Project - Educator and Parent Guideupdated: Mon Apr 04 2011 14:02:00

CNN Student News -- Description: This year, CNN will join the fight to end modern-day slavery and shine a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery. The CNN Freedom Project will amplify the voices of the victims, highlight success stories and help unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life. You can find more information and stories at The CNN Freedom Project.

Different ways to hit sex trafficking?updated: Fri Apr 01 2011 06:17:00

Sweden and Denmark combat sex trafficking in contrasting ways, as CNN's Atika Shubert reports.

Sweden combats sex traffickingupdated: Thu Mar 31 2011 09:42:00

Sweden prohibits the purchase of sex, penalizing the men who buy it, not the women who sell it. CNN's Atika Shubert reports.

Sweden: Why we criminalized purchase of sexual servicesupdated: Thu Mar 31 2011 09:42:00

In 1999 Sweden became the first country in the world to criminalize the purchase, but not the sale, of sexual services. Over the years the interest from abroad about our legislation has grown, mainly because we can see a clear link between prostitution and human trafficking.

Combating human traffickingupdated: Wed Mar 09 2011 11:40:00

Europol director Robert Wainwright tells CNN's Atika Shubert about the challenges of combating human trafficking.

Romania a global center for human traffickingupdated: Thu Feb 17 2011 15:11:00

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that a Lebanese businessman, Hassan Awdi, was charged with multiple offenses, including human trafficking, in connection with the importation of workers into Romania. He has not been charged with such crimes. CNN regrets the error.

Letter to the editor: Romania is winning fight against traffickingupdated: Thu Feb 17 2011 14:31:00

The following is a letter from the Romania Ministry Of Administration And Interior, General Inspectorate Of Romanian Police.

U.S. should stop criminalizing sex trafficking victimsupdated: Mon Feb 07 2011 12:52:00

Americans are right to get angry at the violence against women and girls in developing nations: the Congo rape camps, the widespread practices of female genital mutilation in West Africa and the infanticide of females in China.

Underage sex trade still flourishing onlineupdated: Sat Feb 05 2011 15:12:00

Her ankles and wrists are shackled. She's wearing used sweats in the bright colors of the jailhouse, orange, blue and yellow. She shuffles to the courtroom to face the judge, her mother, and an uncertain future.

Anti-abortion group targets Planned Parenthood in undercover videoupdated: Wed Feb 02 2011 21:16:00

A secretly taped video by a male and a female posing as sex traffickers purportedly shows a Planned Parenthood employee in New Jersey telling them how to secure abortions and contraception for underage girls, anti-abortion activist Lila Rose told CNN Wednesday.

Judge finds hurdles to helping young victims of sex traffickingupdated: Sun Jan 23 2011 07:04:00

Every week, Judge William Voy of the Clark County Juvenile Court in Las Vegas holds a special session for underage sex trafficking victims picked up by police in Las Vegas.

Feds nab suspected human trafficker in Connecticut casinoupdated: Tue Jan 11 2011 12:35:00

A suspected human trafficker who recently was profiled on "America's Most Wanted" was arrested at a Connecticut casino last week, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Child trafficking rings bustedupdated: Tue Nov 09 2010 20:48:00

CNN's Brian Todd reports on a large-scale takedown of child prostitution rings across the U.S.

Girl tricked into sexual slaveryupdated: Fri Sep 17 2010 17:36:00

A Mexican 15-year-old was smuggled into the U.S. and forced into prostitution. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.

Promise of a better life leads to the nightmare of sexual slaveryupdated: Fri Sep 17 2010 17:36:00

Across Mexico, young girls dream of escaping their small towns for the big cities. They dream of a good job and a better life in the United States.

Singer's mission: Help restore the souls of former sex slavesupdated: Fri Sep 03 2010 13:36:00

Natalie Grant apologizes for crying, but she can't help it.

Cuban migrants held for ransom in Mexico rescued, government saysupdated: Wed Sep 01 2010 11:57:00

Mexican authorities have rescued six undocumented Cuban migrants who had been held for ransom for a month in Cancun, a vacation hotspot on the nation's Yucatan Peninsula, the state-run Notimex news agency reported Wednesday.

Sex trafficking in Nepalupdated: Tue Aug 31 2010 22:24:00

CNN's Max Foster speaks to human trafficking expert Siddharth Kara on the sex trafficking situation in Nepal.

On the trail of human trafficking: sex industry in Nepalupdated: Tue Aug 31 2010 22:24:00

Before venturing to this little-traveled quadrant of Nepal, I was interested to update my research on Katmandu's massage parlors and dance bars.

Human trafficking second only to drugs in Mexicoupdated: Fri Aug 27 2010 08:14:00

Mario Santos likely never made it to the United States.

Migrants on cramped ship appear to be in good shapeupdated: Sat Aug 14 2010 20:57:00

Almost 500 Sri Lankan migrants who spent three months on a cramped ship before being taken into Canadian custody appear to be in good health, officials in British Columbia said Saturday.

Human smuggling suspected aboard seized shipupdated: Sat Aug 14 2010 05:17:00

Almost 500 Sri Lankan migrants are in Canadian custody after officials Thursday boarded a small ship suspected of human smuggling off the coast of British Columbia, according to Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

Craigslist and the sex tradeupdated: Tue Aug 10 2010 05:43:00

CNN's Amber Lyon probes allegations that Craigslist is not doing what it can to combat child sex trafficking.

On the trail of forced labor in Bangladeshupdated: Mon Aug 09 2010 10:21:00

My research trip to Bangladesh ended near the town of Srimongol, where I investigated the country's tea industry. Much like their shrimp processing kinsmen to the south, the tea factories were locked down like prisons.

On the trail of human traffickingupdated: Thu Jul 22 2010 16:35:00

After a long journey from Los Angeles, I have been in New Delhi for several days now easing into a full ten weeks that I will spend researching child labor, bonded labor, and human trafficking throughout South Asia.

Ending child slavery through educationupdated: Thu Jun 17 2010 05:44:00

CNN's Richard Lui visits a school in Ghana dedicated to ending child slavery through education.

Former child slave fights to end trafficking in Ghanaupdated: Thu Jun 17 2010 05:44:00

A former child slave is rescuing victims of child trafficking in Ghana and has built a school to help give them a better future.

U.S. human trafficking report includes U.S. cases for first timeupdated: Mon Jun 14 2010 17:14:00

The U.S. government's annual worldwide human trafficking report, released Monday, for the first time includes an assessment of trafficking in the United States.

Human trafficking victims jailed in Iraqupdated: Thu May 06 2010 06:53:00

CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom reports on how human trafficking in Iraq can make double victims of young girls.

Rescuing girls from sex slaveryupdated: Mon May 03 2010 16:35:00

Geeta was 9 when she began wearing makeup, staying up until 2 a.m. and having sex with as many as 60 men a day.

CNN Hero: Anuradha Koiralaupdated: Mon May 03 2010 16:35:00

Anuradha Koirala is fighting to prevent the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Nepal's women and girls.

Arizona raids target human smugglingupdated: Thu Apr 15 2010 22:18:00

Hundreds of law-enforcement officers were making arrests and executing search warrants Thursday in Arizona as part of an investigation into human smuggling, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said.

Missionary adviser a wanted manupdated: Mon Feb 15 2010 16:29:00

The lawyer for American missionaries held in Haiti faces charges in El Salvador. CNN's Karl Penhaul reports.

Legal adviser for Americans in Haiti facing his own chargesupdated: Mon Feb 15 2010 16:29:00

A man who acted as a legal adviser to the American missionaries arrested on child kidnapping charges in Haiti is himself facing allegations of human trafficking in El Salvador and human smuggling charges in the United States.

Untold Stories: Innocence for saleupdated: Tue Feb 09 2010 12:11:00

In this expose of South-East Asia's child sex industry, Aaron Cohen goes undercover in Cambodia's karaoke brothels.

Man goes undercover to combat child sex slaveryupdated: Tue Feb 09 2010 12:11:00

Aaron Cohen first met Jonty Thern and her older sister, Channy, in 2005 while singing in a karaoke bar in Battambang, Cambodia. He has come back to see them every year since.

Volunteers try to dissuade young sex workers on Super Bowl weekendupdated: Sun Feb 07 2010 06:44:00

Volunteers are taking to the streets of Miami, Florida, this Super Bowl weekend to inform teenage girls of alternatives to working as prostitutes.

State Department targets more funds to fight child trafficking in Haitiupdated: Wed Feb 03 2010 17:36:00

The United States has committed an additional million dollars to fight child trafficking in Haiti in the wake of last month's earthquake, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

State Department: U.S. working to prevent child trafficking in Haitiupdated: Thu Jan 28 2010 21:33:00

The United States will work with the Haitian government and with international and private aid groups to protect Haitian children who might be at risk because they were orphaned or separated from their parents by the earthquake, the State Department said Thursday.

Human trafficking in Mexicoupdated: Wed Jan 13 2010 10:57:00

Channel 4's Nick Martin has the extraordinary story of a Mexican girl who managed to escape captivity by human traffickers.

Report lifts veil on trafficking, prostitution of Palestinian womenupdated: Fri Dec 11 2009 11:49:00

It's a subject seldom addressed publicly in the Palestinian territories, but for the first time, a report is lifting the veil on the taboo topic of female trafficking and forced prostitution -- and calling for action to stop it.

Sex trafficking: An American problem tooupdated: Wed Nov 25 2009 06:58:00

"We did not have a right to choose where we lived ... freedom of speech, or freedom of actions. The traffickers had keys to our apartment. They controlled all of our movement and travel. They watched us and listened when we called our parents. They didn't let us make friends or tell anyone anything about ourselves. We couldn't keep any of the money we earned. We couldn't ask anyone for help." -- Lena

Expert: Child traffickers target runaways, 'throwaways'updated: Wed Nov 18 2009 17:27:00

It sounds like the plot of a crime drama or the scourge of a developing country, but human trafficking is a serious problem in the U.S. and America's children are frequent pawns, experts say.

Recession boosts global human trafficking, report saysupdated: Fri Nov 06 2009 17:37:00

The global financial crisis has increased the worldwide trade in trafficked persons, says a State Department report released in June.

Recession boosts global human trafficking, report saysupdated: Tue Jun 16 2009 15:11:00

The global financial crisis has increased the worldwide trade in trafficked persons, says a State Department report released Tuesday.

Official: More than 1M child prostitutes in Indiaupdated: Mon May 18 2009 08:43:00

Around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution in India, the country's federal police said Monday.

Americans jailed in Egyptupdated: Mon Mar 23 2009 20:29:00

Several Americans are accused of illegal adoption in Egypt. CNN's Tim Lister reports

Egypt says adoptive moms were human smugglersupdated: Mon Mar 23 2009 20:29:00

Suzanne Hagelof and Iris Botros dreamed of adopting babies. Separately, they visited orphanages in Egypt. Hagelof adopted a child, and Botros was in the process of adopting twins, when they ran foul of authorities. Now they are in jail, accused of being part of a conspiracy to traffic children.

Sex trade, forced labor top U.N. human trafficking listupdated: Mon Feb 16 2009 01:48:00

Sexual exploitation and forced labor are the most common forms of human trafficking in the world, a new report from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said.

Operation frees dozens of child prostitutesupdated: Wed Oct 29 2008 14:17:00

Dozens of juveniles have been freed from forced prostitution by a nationwide operation that resulted in the arrests of hundreds of other people, the FBI announced Monday.

Time.com: Bodies, Perhaps of Migrants, Wash Ashore in Yemenupdated: Fri Oct 10 2008 18:00:00

Dozens of bodies washed ashore Friday in Yemen after smugglers threw nearly 150 Somali migrants overboard in shark-infested waters, the latest such tragedy in one of the most lawless stretches of ocean in the world

Art imitates activismupdated: Mon Sep 22 2008 11:35:00

An Argentina soap opera is raising awareness about human trafficking. CNN's Brian Byrnes reports.

Argentine mom seeks daughter forced into prostitutionupdated: Mon Sep 22 2008 11:35:00

When Susana Trimarco's daughter Marita Veron was 23, she vanished from their hometown in Argentina, a suspected victim of a human trafficking and prostitution ring with links throughout Latin America and Europe.

Russia's economic dark sideupdated: Fri Jul 18 2008 16:07:00

Sex slavery and prostitution thrive amid Russia's prosperity, as CNN's Matthew Chance reports.

Russia's sex slave industry thrives, rights groups sayupdated: Fri Jul 18 2008 16:07:00

Young women in bright miniskirts and high heels line up to sell themselves in the dingy back streets throughout the Russian capital. Moscow's illegal flesh markets are flourishing, with up to 30 women at each pickup point, or tochka, standing in order of price for the night.

Tackling child traffickingupdated: Fri Jan 18 2008 11:44:00

Homeland has organized Child Trafficking Awareness Day to address the issue on the Thailand-Cambodia border.

Time.com: South Asia Sex Trade Spreading HIVupdated: Wed Aug 01 2007 14:20:00

The trafficking of women to work as prostitutes is likely a key factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS across South Asia, according to a study

Time.com: 7 Nations Added to Trafficking Listupdated: Wed Jun 13 2007 10:10:00

The Bush administration on Tuesday added seven nations, including several key U.S. allies in the Middle East, to its human trafficking blacklist

India escapes U.S. list of worst human traffickersupdated: Tue Jun 12 2007 17:43:00

India, which advocacy groups say may have as many as 65 million forced laborers, was spared the worst ranking on the State Department's new list of nations where humans are bought and sold.

Tackling London's sex slave shameupdated: Mon Mar 19 2007 09:29:00

Two hundred years may have passed since Britain banned participation in the slave trade, but some argue slavery still exists in the United Kingdom.

U.S. intensifies fight against human trafficking updated: Thu Feb 01 2007 00:40:00

The United States has launched hundreds of new investigations to combat human trafficking for prostitution and labor exploitation inside its borders, U.S. authorities have announced.

U.S. cites 4 Gulf allies in trafficking reportupdated: Fri Jun 03 2005 12:47:00

Four American allies in the Persian Gulf are among the countries criticized for not doing enough to combat human trafficking in a U.S. State Department report released Friday.

Two guilty over Jakarta sex tradeupdated: Tue Apr 26 2005 23:17:00

Two men pleaded guilty in Virginia state Tuesday to plotting to recruit young Indonesian women and teenage girls to come to the United States to work as prostitutes and nude dancers, in what Justice Department officials termed "reprehensible" and "evil."

Japan put on sex-trade watch listupdated: Mon Jun 14 2004 18:45:00

Japan has thousands of victims of sexual slavery and is on a new U.S. "watch list" for failing to do more against the trafficking of humans by the underworld, a report released by the U.S. State Department says.

We recommend