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Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to compel another person's labor. And it's found in cotton fields, and coltan mines, and even car washes in Norway and England. It's found in U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. 


It's found in Thailand's fishing industry. That country has become the largest exporter of shrimp in the world. But what are the circumstances behind all that cheap and plentiful shrimp? Thai military were caught selling Burmese and Cambodian migrants onto fishing boats. Those fishing boats were taken out, the men put to work, and they were thrown overboard if they made the mistake of falling sick, or trying to resist their treatment. Those fish were then used to feed shrimp, The shrimp were then sold to four major global retailers: Costco, Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour. 

Human trafficking is found on a smaller scale than just that, and in places you would never even imagine. Traffickers have forced young people to drive ice cream trucks, or to sing in touring boys' choirs. Trafficking has even been found in a hair braiding salon in New Jersey. 

The scheme in that case was incredible. The traffickers found young families who were from Ghana and Togo, and they told these families that "your daughters are going to get a fine education in the United States." They then located winners of the green card lottery, and they told them, "We'll help you out. We'll get you a plane ticket. We'll pay your fees. All you have to do is take this young girl with you, say that she's your sister or your spouse. Once everyone arrived in New Jersey, the young girls were taken away, and put to work for 14-hour days, seven days a week, for five years. They made their traffickers nearly four million dollars. 

Noy Thrupkaew

(TED Talk)  - June 2015

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