Trafficking and the U.S.
June 17th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Trafficking and the U.S.

Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year, according to a 2005 report from the U.S. State Department.

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soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Worthless Nobody

    You know what? I will be the next victim, because I can't do anything else with my life.. <- there is my story.............

    June 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • nobody x 2


      August 12, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • nobody x 2

      are you still alive??

      August 12, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • nobody x 2

      i'm being human trafficked right now lmao

      August 12, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  2. Darren

    No wonder human trafficking remains a problem. A four word headline and a 22 word paragraph is all that could be spared to describe this problem. Wow!!!

    June 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Reply
    • Monteiro

      I was thinking the same thing – I clicked on the hyperlink to the story and saw this sorry page. Geesh, CNN – normally you are better than this!

      June 18, 2011 at 8:30 am | Reply
  3. Rayven mimie amarachukwu

    Darren liv wit it bullshit happens

    June 18, 2011 at 6:02 am | Reply
  4. otot

    14,500 to 17,500, a report from 2005... imagine how could this have grown if it took 6 years for this to be notice. Probably today is 10 times bigger or more.

    June 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • Megan Morgenson

      or it could have stayed the same or decreased with the ever increasing awareness that the topic is gaining. We won't know unless we continue to push for solid research and ways to increase transparency of this well hidden enterprise.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  5. Allan

    Since non of these people are registered how can they know the numbers?

    June 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  6. beth


    June 19, 2011 at 5:39 am | Reply
  7. Russ

    This info is from the Bush Admin. What does the Obama Admin have to say about human trafficking. Come on CNN, you should go to Polaris Project's page to get some up to date info on Human Trafficking. Sad story

    June 19, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Shraeve

      The Polaris Project is completely untrustworthy. They predicted there would be 40,000 sex slaves brought into Germany for the 2006 World Cup soccer championship. The German police carefully looked for slaves near all the World Cup venues. They found none. The difference between 40,000 and zero is a rather large disparity, wouldn't you say? It was just another lie used to try to ban legal prostitution.

      The Polaris Project should have been totally discredited, yet they remain one of the leading anti-trafficking organizations. What does that say about the anti-trafficking movement?

      June 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
      • Stacie

        Yeah, the police are a reliable source about whether or not there were sex slaves in their area. Give me a break.

        June 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
      • SoxFan1126

        How do you know? What's your proof that there were no people found?

        June 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • Joe66

        I am with Stacie,

        The police are full of it......
        They look the other way, just like in San Diego.....gee I would not know anything about it.

        June 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
      • Carley

        This \"free sharing\" of information seems too good to be true. Like coummsnim.

        December 27, 2011 at 2:27 am |
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  8. Jazz

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    June 19, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply
  9. Selena

    We talk about slavery and in UAE it's something that happens constantly. What do you say about construction workers who work in this blistering heat @ 45 degrees, share a cubicle (8 of them), have no food allowance and only earn AED 500, per month, which all goes to pay for their recruitment (visa fees, plane fees, medical) and will continue to do so for the next 3 years or so?or the cab drivers who work everyday for 12 to 15 hours with no day off and are paid only on commission? CNN, you want true slavery, please visit UAE and you will be shocked. It may all look glittery, but its a bubble. The rest of the World is only shown the best places but what about those hidden places where people are suffering with no way out after been promised good jobs only to fin out the truth was nothing but?

    June 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  10. Shraeve

    Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the US each year? And a high percentage are children? How do they get all those slaves past the border patrol? It is hard enough for an unencumbered adult to sneak into the USA, yet many are apparently able to sneak in with kidnapped children in tow?

    June 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  11. Zelda

    The number sounds too small. The tip of iceberg. Human nature is the problem. American citizens must become good and moral in order to stop this.

    June 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Reply
    • Joe66

      It is happening here, American kids are sold and grabbed and placed into slavery and have less rights than a foriegn kid with the same situation.

      The world sucks it is becoming the exploited and exploitee

      June 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  12. Sabatha Gumede

    Come to Africa then you will know!

    June 20, 2011 at 4:55 am | Reply
    • edsr

      I will stay in Africa and I will stay HERE..................

      June 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  13. Shraeve

    When they perpetuate these myths of huge numbers of sex slaves, they are like the boy who cried wolf. No one will take anything a liar says seriously, even if it happens to be the truth for once.

    When we waste energy and resources chasing shadows, that is that much less energy and resources available to help genuine victims. There is genuine slavery, and there is genuine child victimization, and we should focus on finding and helping real victims. We could start by prioritizing the efforts of the FBI toward investigating genuine crimes such as real abductions, instead of dong things like hounding Deborah Palfrey into suicide.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  14. edsr

    There are MORE than that in the USA alone.........................we are ALL slaves to the US government and to the IRS and to other government agencies................there is MORE to slavery than just sex slavery...............there is financial burden that is also slavery...................we have it all.............

    June 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Badger

      Proudly serving my corporate master!

      June 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • rationality defender

      It is interesting that you consider us all to be slaves to the government of the United States of America. I say this because the definition of slave according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary is 1) a person held in servitude as the chattel of another, or 2) one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence. In the case of nearly all citizens of the United States we possess a myriad of freedoms, including one which flies directly in the face of your assertion: we can choose to leave the United States if we wish. Therefore, I suggest that if you feel overly oppressed by the government of this nation then you either exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship to alter the current state of affairs, or simply relocate. Of course, you could just post grammatically-incorrect and irrational tripe on CNN. That will likely solve your problem.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  15. Dave

    In 2011 the biggest problem for America is wage slavery. We are fast approaching the point where most people make nothing for their work after you deduct their cost of living from the equation.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • George Gray

      Quite right. Any involuntary servitude is slavery. If there is no alternative to a low paying job with uncertain tenure, you take the job involuntarily. Slavery is alive and well all over ... .

      June 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • Jane

      I worked at a grocery store that didn't want me to drink water! Water??? They said it would look bad in front of the customer??? Water?? I went to the Union and there was such bad backlash at my job that I had to quit. Yes. Presently, I am sorry to say that some companies are working people like slaves.

      June 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  16. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    If we get rid of slaves, how are the rich people going to find people to take care of their houses and kids?

    June 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  17. Cuntswaylo

    I hate being slave for rich people. Get you own fcking drink you rich c.nt!

    June 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  18. Surge

    Most of us are enslaved working in modern day sweat shops. When you have time to be off but if you call in the day that you are calling is occurence. You don't have a day that states that you need mental rest. Huge cooperation make unbelievable demands all for the sake of them getting money. We are all slaved one way or the other. How many people especially in the medical field can say they enjoy and love their jobs.

    June 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • rationality defender

      Surge, while it is true that large corporations do hire employees in order to increase profits and share-holder value, this horrific practice does have one important benefit...your gainful employment.

      June 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  19. George Gray

    If there is no alternative to a low paying job with uncertain tenure, then you are forced to take the job. How is this different from "slavery"? It is an involuntary servitude, the legal synonym of slavery. So, "slavery" wasn't abolished in the U.S.A. at all in 1863, now was it ... .

    June 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • rationality defender

      In fact, Mr. Gray, there is an alternative to low paying jobs. The alternative involves making good choices in life such as sublimating your desire for immediate gratification and instead investing your energy in educating yourself and developing skills that set you apart from other men. Although life is filled with uncertainties, a person can optimize their chances for sustained gainful employment with continuous education, career planning, and a little old-fashioned determination.

      As for your identification of your own job with institutionalized chattel slavery (incidentally made illegal by the 13th Amendment in 1865), I suggest that you research the lives of slaves under this system. Low pay or a lack of job security doesn't seem to me to be in the same ballpark with thumbscrews, lashings, human-branding, forced separation of families, etc. I think that perhaps many of us need to get outside our own dark broodings and gain some perspective.

      June 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
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  20. xdougx

    I am a modern day slave as well. What do you call being forced to accept continually crappier jobs with lower wages, the end of overtime, no pensions, ridiculous property taxes, bloated health care costs, etc...

    June 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  21. GBush3

    Oooooooooooo..................I thought it only happens in the rest of the world.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  22. deejay

    How did this blog start out to be about slave trafficking and end up with our own problems? Every one on the face of the planet has trials and tribulations, it's part of life. The best way to get through it is to concentrate on what you do have. I know it sounds cliche...but if you meditate on it for a moment, it will help you. We even take stepping into a shower for granted...imagine having to walk somewhere to get your (dirty) water...imagine having to watch your child cry because they are simply hungry. We don't even know the hardships going on in other parts of the world...we've been sheltered and spoiled here...I'm tired of hearing people complain. Yes, taxes stink, jobs are hard...but there is the reward of having a shelter and home. Next time we are ravaged by a horrific storm, remember the homeless...Count your blessings, not your problems, and then try to give a helping hand to someone who is really in need.

    June 21, 2011 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • Jeff

      THANK YOU for reminding everyone commenting that this is about sex slavery, not our own personal issues. Working a job which requires long hours for little pay would be considered a great blessing to those who are brutally beaten and raped all day, 7 days a week, unsure of whether they will live to see tomorrow or if they have contracted HIV/AIDS that will surely kill them later on. America is too consumed with "celebutainment" to notice the terrible "gendercide" and sex slavery not only here in America, but across the world, too. Americans, please, for the love of humankind, educate yourselves!

      June 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
      • Andrea

        Thanks for the post Jeff. I couldn't agree more.

        September 13, 2011 at 4:00 am |
  23. Collins

    I always wonder if trafficking and slavery are so intense in the USA, how will they be in the other parts of the world? thanks

    June 21, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
  24. Atul Grover

    Any form of work visa can and most likely is exploited. Guest worker, H-1, J-1 etc they all are being exploited given the oppertunity. Actually the person who crossed the border by foot is better off in some cases. How many Americans have u seen washing dishes in restaurants or cutting grass... you think they are being paid the minimum wages?

    June 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  25. Jogante

    If you are found guilty of slavery the punishment should be loss of citizenship. The slave would become the citizen and the slaver would be turned over to the country of the slave.

    June 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  26. Sherry

    Nita Belles wrote and published "In Our Backyard: A Christian Perspective on Human Trafficking in the United States. It is a powerful book that explains what human trafficking is, how to spot it and what can be done about it. It covers this atrocity with compassion and knowledge. It is well worth reading, I wish everyone could read it. Knowledge is power

    June 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  27. Suzy

    I thought at first this article was from The Onion. This story is trotted out again and again by NGOs that desperately need money to maintain and expand their operations, and the drive-by media who together will conflate any molehill to a mountain if it will get them more taxpayer dollars or more advertising dollars, respectively. Polaris Project is the best at this, renaming prostitution as trafficking in a brilliant repackaging scheme. And the media ignores other media, even respectible media, that does in-depth studies of this same thing. Specifically, the Washington Post did an expose in 2007 that showed that the government study referred to here is hocus pocus, and the real number of people trafficked to the US annually is around 100. Read it here:

    June 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  28. Jenelle

    Unfortunately this information is old and the epidemic is skyrocketing. What this data doesn't take into account is that fact that Americans traffick far more of our own that those who are brought into this country. I would love to see more training in communities, churches, and schools about what to look for and how to respond. The more aware we are, the more we will find and stop.

    I agree with others that insufficient wages continues to be a MAJOR problem to be dealt with immediately, that is poverty and discrimination – not slavery.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  29. Andrea

    I just wanted to say thank you to CNN for making an effort to cover these stories. Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes one can commit. It's insane how frequently it is happening all around the world (including the U.S.) and how blind we all are to it. This should be front page news but people aren't demanding it. So, cheers to CNN for taking a stand and covering one of the most tragic human rights issues occuring today. Please keep up the coverage.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:58 am | Reply
  30. Pointless

    A 2005 report? I guess we monitor this only as a census. Once in 6 years for a report of this sort is pretty sorry indeed.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Reply
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