The Department of Homeland Security describes human trafficking as a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.
Human trafficking looks different worldwide. In Africa, it can look like child labor; in the Middle East, it can look like child marriages; in the Red Light District, it can look like women being sold out of storefront windows; and in the United States, it can look like young teenagers being sexually exploited online.
It’s essential as allies in the fight to end human trafficking to have a realistic, evidence-based understanding of the issue in order to more accurately educate others. By gaining a global perspective of the issue, we can understand the widespread toxicity of human trafficking and do our part in our own communities to prevent it. We’ve put together a collection of five must-see documentaries to get you started in learning about human trafficking worldwide. All are free to stream, you do not need a subscription service to view them.
The Dark Side of Chocolate
The Dark Side of Chocolate is a 2010 documentary film about the exploitation and slave trading of African children to harvest chocolate still occurring nearly ten years after the cocoa industry pledged to end it.
Freedom Planet; Stream on Vimeo
This documentary film is about the rescue of 57 children from slavery and the arrest and incarceration of their 7 traffickers. After spending over a decade rescuing children both domestically and overseas from the child slavery industry, Special Agent Tim Ballard decides to turn in his Homeland Security badge, feeling he could do more good working outside the government. Ballard assembles a team of highly specialized individuals that then infiltrates trafficking organizations and rescues innocent children. This is the story of their liberation.
Brides and Brothels: The Rohingya Trade
101 East; Stream on Youtube
Despite fleeing atrocities in Myanmar, thousands of Rohingya girls continue to face sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and trafficking in refugee camps.
Sex Slavery: A Family Business
CNN Freedom Project; Stream on CNN
Marius and Bogdan Nejloveanu ran a sex trafficking ring like a family business, forcing Romanian women into prostitution in Britain.
The White Lie – A Child Labour Documentary
The Black Seed Project; Stream on Youtube
A documentary that highlights the new amendment made to the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act of 1986 and explores the terrible condition of children working in the BT Cotton fields of Gujarat.
Interested in More Documentaries? Check out our other blog posts!
If you’ve learned something from this article, we hope you will share it with others. Education and awareness continue to be our best weapon in the fight against human trafficking and you can use your voice and social media for good by sharing what you know. Thank you for joining the fight.
You can also donate to support the advocacy, training, and education we provide at no cost to participants, and we thank you for taking this fight seriously by investing in it.