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.