October 24th, 2011
11:16 AM ET

Sanctuary in child sex village

Svay Pak has a disturbing reputation. The village outside Cambodia's capital of Phnom Penh is known as a place where little girls are openly sold to foreign predators looking for sex.

CNN visited the village after it was highlighted in “Not My Life” which aired on CNN International October 22-23.

Dozens of girls – some as young as five or six - sold or forced into the sex trade are housed in rooms little more than cells.

The young girls are sought after by the foreign men who go to the area for one reason: They knew they could find young girls for sale.

But some find safety in the arms of charities battling the odds like Agape International Missions.

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Topics: Life In Slavery
Not My Life: Heroes and villains
October 20th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

Director sees horrors, miracles of slavery

Atlanta, (CNN) - Across the world, man's inhumanity is secretly on show wherever human traffickers prey on those who are vulnerable. But there is also hope and inspiration in the stories of survivors, and the dedicated, but under-resourced, anti-traffickers.

For four years, Robert Bilheimer documented their stories in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa for the documentary "Not My Life" which airs on CNN International this weekend.

CNN sat down with the Oscar-nominated director to talk about the horrors of human trafficking and the uplifting tales of the survivors he met while filming.

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Topics: Life In Slavery • The Traffickers • Uncategorized
October 16th, 2011
07:22 PM ET

Director: We can change the world

A powerful, new documentary film depicting the horrifying and dangerous practices of human trafficking and modern slavery on a global scale airs this weekend on CNN.

Oscar-nominated director Robert Bilheimer says the movie could be key to unlocking public awareness and calls for action.

"People do not recoil from this. They are angered by it and horrified by it. I think it's genuinely possible that we can move the dime on this, that we can put this in the forefront of the public consciousness. That's all you need," he said.

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Topics: Life In Slavery
October 14th, 2011
03:06 PM ET

Georgia woman sentenced to more than 11 years for human trafficking

By Moni Basu, CNN

ATLANTA - Bidemi Bello will spend the next 11 years in a U.S. prison. After that she will be deported back to her native Nigeria, her luxe life in suburban Atlanta decidedly finished.

Bello, 42, was convicted for bringing two Nigerian women to the United States and forcing them to work in her plush home as slaves. U.S. District Judge William Duffey Jr. sentenced her to 140 months in jail Thursday.

Bello apologized to her two victims, present in the Atlanta courtroom to hear firsthand their abuser's punishment. Bello also apologized to her prosecutors, said U.S. Attorney Susan Coppedge.

"We are very pleased with the sentence," she said. "I think it fits the facts of the case."

Those facts amounted to "shocking modern-day slavery," said Brock Nicholson, the special agent in charge of immigration and homeland security investigations in Atlanta. FULL POST

October 7th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

U.S. human trafficking czar on how consumers can combat slavery

Recently, a series of reports from CNN's Dan Rivers traced slavery in the supply chain. He began in Cambodia, where a woman grieved for her daughter, to a factory in Malaysia where the girl was forced to work for no pay and, ultimately, went to shops in London that sell the products made by slaves.

Luis CdeBaca, the U.S. human trafficking czar - more formally known as the ambassador-at-large for the U.S. Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons - sat down with CNN's Max Foster to talk about what consumers can learn from the reporting and other tips for keeping slavery out of the supply chain. FULL POST

Topics: Business • Solutions • Voices
October 5th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

Underage prostitutes rescued in Peru

Peruvian police have rescued 244 women, including 10 underage girls, who were being forced to work as prostitutes in a remote gold mining camp.

During one of the raids last weekend, authorities found a 13-year-old girl, according to Peruvian Security Assistant Secretary Luis Alberto Otarola.

“I personally witnessed the situation she was in,” he said. “They are all forced into cruel practices of sexual exploitation.”

Four men were arrested and face charges of human trafficking and forced prostitution. Trucks with contraband were also seized in the raid, officials said. FULL POST

October 5th, 2011
01:33 PM ET

Police: Raid frees 30 from alleged forced prostitution

For months, the CNN Freedom Project has followed the an extensive investigation into the transporting of Chinese workers into Spain. In a special series in July, CNN went behind-the-scenes of the struggle against human trafficking through the eyes of the local investigators.

By CNN's Al Goodman

MADRID - 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.

The arrests occurred earlier this week after a long investigation. It was the biggest strike to date against Chinese-run mafias involved in forced prostitution in the northeast region of Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, said the senior officer, Xavier Cortes, head of the Catalan police unit that fights human trafficking.

In recent years, the Chinese crime syndicate had crowded out others from the prostitution market in the fashionable Eixample district of Barcelona by using forced prostitution and charging below-market rates, Cortes said. FULL POST

Topics: In The News
October 4th, 2011
01:59 PM ET

Tracking factory slaves across Asia

By Dan Rivers, Senior International Correspondent

Penang, Malaysia - We traveled to Cambodia planning to tell the story of an escape from modern-day slave labor but what we found were tales of more women trapped in debt-bondage in Malaysia.

In Cambodia, we found the women who had escaped, but we also learned about dozens of other workers stuck in similar circumstances, unable to get home unless they paid off their "debt" to a recruitment agency. FULL POST

Topics: Business • The Traffickers