November 2nd, 2011
07:42 AM ET

Death in the desert: Tribesmen exploit battle to reach Israel

In this first part of his report, CNN's Fred Pleitgen investigates the plight of refugees crossing the Sinai Desert. Check out the second part

El Arish, Egypt - "I wanted to build a good future for my family, but I failed," a weak Issam Abdallah Mohammed said in a videotaped statement.

The refugee from the Darfur region of Sudan was trying to illegally cross the border from Egypt to Israel when he was discovered and shot by Egyptian border guards.

Less than an hour after taping the statement, Issam was dead, succumbing to the wounds inflicted by the gunshots.

Every year, thousands of refugees, mostly from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan, attempt the dangerous journey from their war-torn countries to Israel in search of economic prosperity and stability.

Very few make it, and the results of the failed migration can be seen in the morgue of the central hospital in the Egyptian port town of El Arish. FULL POST

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.

FULL POST

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Topics: Life In Slavery • The Traffickers • Uncategorized
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 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
August 12th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

The vice unit catches their man

In our Freedom Project Undercover series, you've seen the fight against human traffickers through the eyes of the investigators.

In the fifth and final installment of our trip to Orange County, California, we see that the police try give the prostitutes a new start and do their best to lock up the pimps who are forcing these women in to selling themselves.

August 11th, 2011
02:05 PM ET

Setting up the sting

Police officers in Anaheim, California, conduct an undercover operation aimed at sex traffickers.

August 10th, 2011
03:53 PM ET

CNN viewer makes a difference

Tim Rosner tells CNN how one petition and 14,000 signatures prompted change from one large hotel chain.

August 8th, 2011
01:49 PM ET

In the land of opulence, police pursue pimps

There are many faces of human trafficking. There are the victims, there are the traffickers and there are those who try to destroy the connection between them - the investigators.

As part of our Freedom Project Undercover series, Martin Savidge takes a look at how human trafficking is fought in Orange County, California.

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

June 27th, 2011
11:53 AM ET

Slavery in the U.S. capital

CNN's Barbara Starr investigates human trafficking in Washington, D.C.

June 24th, 2011
08:09 AM ET

Gangs join forces to prostitute women

Each day, a woman we'll call Jessica, spent hours on the internet posting provocative photos of herself and fishing for clients who would pay her to have sex.

Jessica worked as a prostitute in the booming internet sex trade. But she didn't work for herself. She says she had a pimp who set a quota of $1,000 a day – money that took about 10 dates to earn.

Jessica told me she was afraid of her pimp who is a gang member. If she didn't work, she didn't eat, saying she once went 5 days without food. FULL POST

June 23rd, 2011
10:51 AM ET

Guest workers tricked into slavery?

CNN's Thelma Gutierrez reports on a human trafficking scheme the government calls the largest in U.S. history.

Topics: The Traffickers
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