A profitable enterprise
July 29th, 2011
04:08 PM ET

A profitable enterprise

Ranking behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking, human trafficking is estimated to be the third largest international crime industry, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. It is believed to generate profits of an estimated $32 billion, according to a 2005 report from the International Labour Organization. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.

July 27th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

In the news: New efforts to combat human trafficking

Federal initiative targets human trafficking in Midwest

Western Missouri and Kansas will be the home base for a new team of six federal enforcement teams targeting human trafficking in the United States, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.

The Anti-Trafficking Coordination team, based in Kansas City, will streamline criminal investigations and prosecution of violators of federal slavery laws. FULL POST

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Topics: Business • Government • In The News
July 25th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Mexican police arrest more than 1,000 in human trafficking raids

Mexico City - 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.

Federal police said raids in two dozen bars, hotels and boarding houses netted arrests of 500 men and 530 women they suspect are connected with human trafficking and sexual exploitation. FULL POST

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Topics: In The News
July 20th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Anti-slavery voices speak out

In a panel hosted by CNN's Jim Clancy, anti-slavery activists speak out about what can and should be done.

Topics: Voices
Mexico changes constitution to combat human trafficking
Mexican President Felipe Calderon, shown on June 23, gave Congress 180 days to approve a new human trafficking law.
July 14th, 2011
10:06 AM ET

Mexico changes constitution to combat human trafficking

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

President Felipe Calderon announced two of the changes - one that requires those accused of human trafficking to be imprisoned during trials, and one that guarantees anonymity of victims who denounce the crime.

"It is important that they can give their testimony to the authorities and to society without being at risk," he said.

Calderon gave Mexico's Congress 180 days to approve a new nationwide human trafficking law that will reform and streamline how authorities handle such cases across the country. FULL POST

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Topics: In The News
3 voices: How to end modern-day slavery
Photographer Lisa Kristine traveled to Nepal to document modern-day slavery, including this young girl who started carrying stones because her family is in debt bondage. (More at http://www.lisakristine.com)
July 12th, 2011
08:17 AM ET

3 voices: How to end modern-day slavery

By Liane Membis, CNN

It seems impossible.

Human trafficking cases, blind promises of freedom, forced prostitution rings — these aspects of modern-day slavery come to light all too often.

Estimates of the number of slaves worldwide range from about 10 million to 30 million, according to policymakers, activists, journalists and scholars. Approximately 100,000 victims are in the United States, working as slaves inside homes, in agricultural fields, in the sex industry and other places, according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report.

That’s millions of women, children and men struggling to escape captivity. That’s millions of people wondering what it means or what it would take to be free again.

But what about solutions - How can we end modern-day slavery? Three experts weigh in on what businesses, governments, the public and individuals must do. FULL POST

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Topics: Business • Government • How to Help • Solutions • Voices
July 8th, 2011
09:04 AM ET

Argentina bans classified ads offering sex

BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner signed a presidential decree Tuesday that bans classified ads that offer sexual services in Argentine newspapers. The decree, number 936, entered the Argentine Official Bulletin and became law on Wednesday.

Like newspapers around the world, many Argentina papers are filled with sex-related advertisements. Kirchner said many of the women featured in these ads are victims of human trafficking and forced into prostitution. She said the move, though, was not an attempt to isolate or embarrass them. FULL POST

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Topics: In The News
Spanish raids free slave labor
July 5th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Unraveling the web of Spain's sweatshops

In a series this week, CNN shows the struggle against human trafficking through the eyes of the investigators at Mossos d'Esquadra, the police agency for the Catalonia region of Spain.

They wear football jerseys, T-shirts, jeans and sneakers. They look like ordinary customers having a beer at the corner pub but that ability to blend in is also key to their role in the fight against human trafficking.

They are the men and women of an elite human trafficking unit in Spain's Catalonia region and they have to get key players in criminal gangs to trust them.

The region is a hot spot for traffickers. Barcelona - its biggest city and one of Europe's marquee tourist destinations - provides a cloak for traffickers who bring victims in on tourist visas.

Large-scale criminal organizations from Eastern Europe, Africa and China are setting up shop - bringing people into Spain under the guise of giving them jobs, then keeping their passports and forcing them to work in nightmarish conditions, either in prostitution or labor exploitation. (Read more about Spain's hot spot for human trafficking)

It has kept the Mossos d'Esquadra undercover unit, which is formally called the Central Unit Against Trafficking of Human Beings, very busy. FULL POST

July 5th, 2011
08:24 AM ET

Spain's hot spot for human trafficking

In a series this week, CNN shows the struggle against human trafficking through the eyes of the investigators at Mossos d'Esquadra, the police agency for the Catalonia region of Spain.

Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Europe and the largest city in Spain's Catalonia region.

The location's beauty and mild weather draw tourists, but traffickers like the region, too: Vacationers can become clients for prostitution and traffickers also use tourist visas to bring people into the country.

The human trafficking unit for the region's police agency, Mossos d'Esquadra, stays busy. FULL POST