Break the Chains of Modern Slavery

Thousands of women and girls cross the U.S.-Mexico border into the United States, or pay coyotes to take them, only to end up as sexual and/or domestic slaves. As Curt Devine describes in “Enslaved at the Border,” from the June 2013 issue of Sojourners, the U.S. is a significant source and destination of human trafficking.

But the U.S. is not the only country caught up in modern day slavery. An estimated 27 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking. Check out the infographic and resources below to raise awareness about this global injustice.

  1. ‘Humankind’s Most Savage Cruelty’: What will it take to shut down "Satan's marketplace," the global slave trade? Every weapon in the arsenal of nonviolence.
  2. Exploiting Body and Soul: Sex trafficking is big business—and the root of that business is closer to home than you might think.
  3. Cry Freedom!: The modern global slave trade and those who fight it.
  4. Katja’s Story: Human trafficking thrives in the new global economy.
  5. Works of Mercy: Chinese churches face off against human trafficking and start to see social justice as part of their mission.
  6. The Trafficker Next Door: In Playground: The Child Sex Trade in America, filmmaker Libby Spears traces the United States’ role in global sex trafficking, while also documenting how prevalent the problem is in the U.S.
  7. Here?: Human trafficking happens around the world and right down the street. A Washington, D.C., organization works to save girls from dangers close to home.
  8. Selling Our Children: Atlanta does battle against the sex trafficking of kids.
  9. When People Become a Commodity: A club owner in Chicago can pick up the phone and "mail-order" three girls from Eastern Europe.
  10. Responsible Adults: Clergy to Village Voice: It's not okay to help the sex traffickers.

The A21Campaign
Seeks to abolish trafficking in the 21st century through preventive measures, victim protection, prosecution of violators, and strategic partnerships.

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
Provides a client-centered approach to empower survivors.

End Slavery Now (New Underground Railroad)
Offers education, organizing, and fundraising to end slavery.

Free the Slaves
Works on the ground to free slaves around the globe; provides basic needs to survivors.

Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)
Empowers young women to exit sexual exploitation and trafficking and develop their full potential.

International Justice Mission (IJM)
Seeks to make public justice systems work for slaves and aids rescues, especially of children.

Focuses on survivor care, prevention education, professional training, and capacity building.

Made In A Free World
Strives to build a global community of people demanding products made without slavery.

Not For Sale
Uses international business creation, supply chain evaluation, and aftercare aid to create a world where no one is for sale.

Polaris Project
Serves survivors’ needs and runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-373-7888).

Shared Hope International
Provides training and research to prevent the conditions that foster human trafficking.

Vital Voices
Combats human trafficking by investing in women’s economic, public, and political leadership.


Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery, by Shayne Moore and Kimberly McOwen Yim, is a guide to how regular people, juggling the everyday demands of family and work, can become activists fighting human trafficking and slavery. InterVarsity Press, 2013

In See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity, Amy Frykholm tells nine people’s stories of sexual formation and faith, from typical teenage experimentation to being trafficked. It reveals some of Christian culture’s failures around human sexuality, while offering tentative hope for a more holy and whole way forward. Beacon Press, 2011

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn, is a bestselling book with compelling chapters about sex slavery and women’s resistance. Knopf, 2009

In A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-day Slavery, E. Benjamin Skinner offers a vivid testament and moving reportage on one of the great evils of our time. Free Press, 2008

Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, by Siddharth Kara, focuses on the economic and business aspects of global slavery across four continents and how aggressive economic and financial measures might stop it. Columbia University Press, 2009

Children in the Global Sex Trade, byJulia O’Connell Davidson, contains a scholarly analysis of all aspects of the subject and its political, legal, and economic contexts. Polity, 2005


Lives for Sale, produced by Maryknoll Productions and Lightfoot Films, documents the horrific and lucrative business of human trafficking. The hourlong film also highlights churches and programs that are helping some of the 20,000 people trafficked to the U.S. each year. Ideal for church and Bible study groups.

Not My Life, directed and produced by Academy Award-nominee Robert Bilheimer, is the first comprehensive documentary on global slavery, filmed on five continents. The film’s website offers extensive information, resources, and links, and how to make best use of this path-breaking film.


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