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May 26, 2016

How One Survivor's Story Helps Us Understand Modern Slavery

Political turbulence caused Shandra to lose her job at an international bank in Indonesia. She replied to an advertisement and worked with a recruiting company to secure her paperwork and travel documents for a six-month job opportunity at a hotel in the United States. Instead she was sold into sex slavery. After escaping, Shandra struggled to find the services she needed, but still managed to expose the trafficking operation and worked with local police and the FBI to secure convictions for three of her captors. Now, as the founder of Mentari, Shandra works to provide survivors with mentorship, empowerment, direct services, and skills training so that they can successfully reintegrate into their communities. As a Survivor Advisor to Human Rights First and presidential appointee to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, she works tirelessly to put an end to this heinous crime and bankrupt the business of human trafficking. 

Modern slavery is a complex criminal enterprise, trapping more than 20 million people worldwide in forced labor or sexual exploitation. Yet the crime often goes undetected and underreported while traffickers rake in $150 billion in profits annually without being held accountable to law enforcement.

We took a deep dive into six real-life cases of modern slavery in the United States to trace the process by which victims are recruited, transported, and ultimately exploited for labor and sex work. And we learned vital information about the actions and resources needed to stop it.

You can learn more about what we found by checking out our new page, Understanding Modern Slavery.