Human trafficking exists in every country and in many guises. It is fueled by extreme poverty, corruption, cultural norms that devalue and commodify women and children in particular, and also by a seemingly insatiable demand for exploitive sex and cheap labor. Traffickers ensnare their victims with promises of good jobs, education, social standing and the opportunity for a better life, even love. Once uprooted and in a foreign environment, the victims learn that there are no legitimate jobs waiting, that there is no bright future, and that, at a minimum, they must work off huge bogus debts before they can be free. These photographs are intended to put a human face on the statistics and headlines, to tell the stories of modern day enslavement and the journey towards freedom.
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