Human Trafficking In Washington State
Human trafficking is twenty–first century slavery. While it's often associated with the sex trade in foreign countries, the issue goes far beyond prostitution. Victims right here in Washington state have been found in a variety of businesses such as construction, housekeeping, food service, and agriculture. Victims advocates and law enforcement say it can surface in any industry. In this four–part series, Sara Lerner takes a close look at the problem in our state and Washington's unique role in combating it.
"Human Trafficking in Washington State" was reported and produced by Sara Lerner and edited by Jim Gates. Funding was provided by the KUOW Program Venture Fund. Contributors include Paul and Laurie Ahern and Puget Sound Energy.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Washington took its place at the forefront of the modern anti–slavery fight in 2003 when the state became the first in the nation to criminalize human trafficking on the state level. What forced this problem to be faced head on? Why did it take six years to see the first conviction?
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
One East African woman explains how she found herself in a Seattle suburb working nearly 100 hours a week with little money, almost no English, and no friends. She explains how her employers enticed her with promises and tricked her into domestic servitude.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Farm workers rights advocates say regulations in the agriculture industry leave an open window for human trafficking crimes to slip through. We'll learn how one man found himself in Washington trapped, penniless, in debt, and fearing for his family's safety.
Friday, March 19, 2010
From bake sales to running events to political schmoozing, anti–human trafficking activism is exploding. We'll look at why awareness is rising, who's involved, and whether efforts are being focused in the right areas.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
People who are stuck in forced labor in Washington state might be one step closer to freedom today. Businesses and public spaces will now be flyered with posters directed at human trafficking victims.
A very special thanks to "Mary" for choosing to go through the difficult process of telling her story in order to reach more human trafficking victims. Thanks to Kathleen Morris, Velma Veloria and the other interviewees who generously shared their time; to Harvey Sloan, Ye–Ting Woo, and the dozens of others who fulfilled requests for time–consuming data and/or simply helped inform the research with personal knowledge; to web producer Carmen Santos; intern Audrey Quinn; TVW/Jan Richardson for tracking down and sharing audio; and music producer Matthew Ellis.