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For six months Kansas City Star reporters traveled the world, from Guatemalan migrant shelters to the deadly streets of Tijuana, investigating America’s war against human trafficking.
They found that America is losing the battle — even in its own backyard. In fact, Kansas City is an emerging hub of human trafficking activity.
Economic opportunity in the U.S. draws human trafficking victims from all over the world. Estimates on the number of victims have varied from 17,500 a year now to 50,000 annually earlier this decade; nobody really knows. International victims are smuggled across borders or can enter legally and fall into slavery. See the Trafficking Primer here (PDF)
This week the Kansas City Star is running a 5-part series on human trafficking in America. Click here to access days four & five (links have not been updated as of this writing):
Day One: A new slavery
Beckoned by the land of the free, immigrants wind up being held against their will for labor, sex and money.
Day Two: Snares of the sex trade
International sex trafficking is more complex and problematic than the U.S. law designed to combat it. Meanwhile, domestic victims are getting scant attention.
Day Three: Fraud’s welcome mat
America’s intricate, fraud-plagued work visa program is a welcome mat for modern-day slavers.
Day Four: Coming Wednesday – No questions asked
Some suspected victims, in violation of U.S. policy, are being deported on government-run airlines based in Kansas City.
Day Five: Coming Thursday – No easy fixes
A new approach is needed, and changes are coming.
Click here to read the entire series.