Operation Underground Railroad - We rescue kidnapped children from slavery
Operation Underground Railroad – We rescue kidnapped children from slavery

Average price for a slave

The CNN Freedom Project reports that:

The average price of a slave has decreased during the past 200 years, according to Kevin Bales, a leading abolitionist who has written several books about modern-day slavery. In 1809, the average price of a slave was $40,000 when adjusted to today’s money. In 2009, the average price of a slave was $90, Bales says.1

“Sex trafficking is a several billion dollar industry worldwide and it is growing at an unprecedented rate,” notes Jerome Elan for The Washington Times:

The annual Super Bowl weekend is considered to be the largest sex trafficking event in the United States,i, ii and some even say it is the largest in the world. In dimly lit rooms, pimps and johns will buy and sell child prostitutes as part of the reprehensible crime of sex trafficking.2

“Despite assertions from some anti-trafficking groups that oft-repeated claims of a surge in trafficking during the Super Bowl and other major sporting events were unsubstantiated, the FBI, the New Jersey State Police and dozens of other law enforcement agencies made stepped-up anti-trafficking enforcement a top priority in the lead up to this year’s game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford,” writes Shannon Mullen for the Asbury Park Press.3

“The FBI and more than 50 other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies spent six months preparing for the two-week operation that recovered the victims,” reports Michael Winter for USA Today.

“Hospitality workers, airport employees and others were trained to look for signs of sex trafficking, and New Jersey authorities put up billboards near the stadium as part of an anti-trafficking campaign, the Asbury Park Press noted.”…

Authorities arrested more than 45 pimps and their helpers, some of whom said they traveled to the New York region to traffic the women and juveniles at the NFL championship at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J..4

The Ashbury Park Press continues:

“High-profile special events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for child prostitution criminal enterprises,” Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, said in a prepared statement.

“The FBI and our partners remain committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and putting those who try to profit from this type of criminal activity behind bars,” he said.

Over the course of the operation, the FBI’s victim specialists provided 70 women and children services such as food, clothing, and referrals to health care facilities, shelters, and other programs, the agency reported.5

“In 2000, one-hundred-seventy-seven countries signed the Palermo Protocol at the United Nations to establish a global standard on human trafficking,” notes Elan

… Efforts by the United States and the United Nations have provided encouragement for many countries that have turned a blind eye to this horrible crime.…

Despite our best efforts, the United States has a seen an increase in the frequency of sex trafficking, with border towns becoming entry points for child prostitutes. The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) works tirelessly to stem the flow of child prostitutes into the United States, but it faces the enormous profits that drive this malefic business. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started an Initiative against Human Trafficking in 2004, and by 2009 the number of investigations had doubled.6

“Under U.S. and international law, anyone under age 18 found in the sex trade is considered a victim of trafficking, whether or not coercion is present, according to the Polaris Project, which advocates for victims and lobbies for legislation to fight the problem,” notes Tom McGhee for The Denver Post:

Internet has made it easier to ensnare unwary workers anywhere in the world. Trafficked workers, many of them immigrants with little command of English, can be found laboring even in health care and other legitimate jobs.

Human trafficking — for sex or labor — involves servitude, force, coercion or fear, and it is difficult to prove, said FBI Special Agent Stephanie Benitez, who investigates labor-trafficking cases.

“People think whips, chains, but they don’t need that,” Benitez said. “They can say, ‘We know where your family is, and if you leave, they are going to get hurt.'” 7

Help Stop Human Trafficking 1-888-3737-888

“King County recognizes that human trafficking is a violation of human rights and a threat to public health and safety nationally as well as in our own community,” writes the Seattle & King County Public Health site.8 “A new [2011] law in Washington makes promoting the commercial sexual abuse of a minor a Class A felony punishable by a prison sentence of seven to 10 years, up from roughly two,” writes Christine Clarridge for The Seattle Times. “The same legislation also increases penalties for men who pay for sex with underage prostitutes, increasing the maximum 90-day jail terms for first-time offenders to roughly two-year prison sentences, and thousands of dollars in new court fines.” 9

“Human trafficking is an on-going issue, all over the US,” writes Danielle D. in a petition:

The word “pimp” is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “a man who solicits clients for a prostitute.” This is not realistic at all. Pimps use fear, force, and cohersion [sic] to abduct human beings and sell their bodies for money. They are usually violent and abusive, and can use various tactics to keep the human beings under their control. The pimp never solicits anyone; they exhert [sic] as little energy as possible. It is up to the victims to do all the work.10

Social media simplifies child trafficking, as Reuters Investigates:

Through Yahoo and Facebook groups, parents and others advertise the unwanted children and then pass them to strangers with little or no government scrutiny, sometimes illegally, a Reuters investigation has found. It is a largely lawless marketplace. Often, the children are treated as chattel, and the needs of parents are put ahead of the welfare of the orphans they brought to America.

The practice is called “private re-homing,” a term typically used by owners seeking new homes for their pets. Based on solicitations posted on one of eight similar online bulletin boards, the parallels are striking.…

Giving away a child in America can be surprisingly easy. Legal adoptions must be handled through the courts, and prospective parents must be vetted. But there are ways around such oversight. Children can be sent to new families quickly through a basic “power of attorney” document – a notarized statement declaring the child to be in the care of another adult.

In many cases, this flexibility is good for the child. It allows parents experiencing hard times to send their kids to stay with a trusted relative, for instance. But with the rise of the Internet, parents are increasingly able to find complete strangers willing to take in unwanted children. By obtaining a power of attorney, the new guardians are able to enroll a child in school or secure government benefits – actions that can effectively mask changes of custody that take place illegally outside the purview of child welfare authorities.… The Reuters investigation found that some children who were adopted and later re-homed have endured severe abuse.11

“In 2005, [a couple] allegedly came across an advertisement by a woman in a ‘foreign’ country who was pregnant and willing to sell the child for $US8000,” notes Australia’s Courier Mail news website:

“Essentially, [they] bought a child, falsified the circumstances of his birth and citizenship, sexually abused him to such a degree and so early in his life that by 22 months old, the child’s sexual awareness as depicted on video rivals that of an adult,” US prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.12

“Since the late 1990s, Americans have adopted about 243,000 children from other countries,” reports Reuters’ Megan Twohey.

If the failure rate of international adoptions is similar to the rate at which domestic adoptions fail – estimates by the federal government range from about 10 percent to 25 percent – then more than 24,000 foreign adoptees are no longer with the parents who brought them to America.

No government agency tracks what happens to these children after they reach America, and none monitors how frequently children are transferred to strangers via the Internet. But on a single online message board examined by Reuters – a Yahoo group called Adopting-from-Disruption – a child was offered for re-homing about once a week during a five-year period. Most of the children were adopted from overseas.…

Yahoo shut down the re-homing groups that Reuters brought to its attention, and [an] Illinois attorney general is pressing Facebook to explain how the social network polices itself.13

“Hundreds of Spanish babies were stolen from their parents by a secret network of doctors and nurses and sold for adoption, according to a petition filed in Madrid,” writes Giles Tremlett for The Guardian:

Doctors, nurses, nuns and priests are all suspected of lying to mothers who were told their children had died during, or straight after, birth. Journalists investigating a clinic in Madrid at the centre of the allegations found a baby’s corpse in a fridge, leading to suggestions that bodies were kept to show parents to prove their own child had died. Campaigners believe thousands of cases of stolen babies will eventually come to light.14

“After months of requests from the BBC, the Spanish government finally put forward Angel Nunez from the justice ministry to me about Spain’s stolen children,” writes interviewer Katya Adler:

Asked if babies were stolen, Mr Nunez replied: “Without a doubt”.

“How many?” I asked.

“I don’t dare to come up with figures,” he answered carefully. “But from the volume of official investigations I dare to say there were many.”

Lawyers believe that up to 300,000 babies were taken.

The practice of removing children from parents deemed “undesirable” and placing them with “approved” families, began in the 1930s under the dictator General Francisco Franco.…

It is alleged that this was also widely used to cover up baby theft and trafficking.15

The Sunday Express British news website exposes the falsification of reports relating to families investigated by social services:

Social workers are regularly “sexing up” dossiers on problem parents to remove children into care and even to farm them out for adoption, a whistleblower reveals.… The experienced social worker told a Sunday Express investigation that council managers are frequently putting pressure on him and colleagues to rewrite reports considered “too positive”. They are demanding “more dirt” on mothers and fathers to increase the chances of securing court orders that place their children into care and which boost councils’ Ofsted ratings.…

“Personally, I’ve written reports and been told, ‘You are too positive with this family, we’ll never get it to court unless you make it more negative’.

“I’ve actually been told that.

“Although it goes against what you feel is right, you feel under an obligation.

“Children need to be in their families and we need to support them as much as possible and only if there are great risks do you take a child out of a family.” 16

“In 2012, we had 661,000 cases of missing persons,” says Todd Matthews, director of communications for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. “And that’s just from that one year.”

Very quickly, 659,000 of those were canceled. So that means those persons either come back; in some cases, located as deceased persons, maybe never an unidentified person; or just a total misunderstanding. So at the end of 2012, of those 661,000 minus the canceled, we had 2,079 cases that remained at the end of the year as unresolved.…

There are 40,000 unidentified remains in this nation; and that was through studies with local coroners, medical examiners. And 40,000, that’s a pretty big number. It doesn’t mean those numbers were reported nationally to the federal level. Federally, we know of a thousand-some-odd unidentified cases. That means they were never reported to the federal level. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: After this story aired, Matthews contacted NPR to say he misspoke. Instead of saying “federally, we know of a thousand-some-odd unidentified cases,” he should have same [sic] “a few thousand-some-odd unidentified cases.”]17

“Police in Nigeria have appealed to parents of more than 200 abducted schoolgirls to come forward with photographs of their daughters,” reports BBC News: Africa.

The girls were taken from their school in Borno state by suspected Islamist militants.…

Since the kidnapping, the number of missing girls has been disputed and parents have criticised the government’s search and rescue efforts.…

It is thought that the militants initially took the girls to the Sambisa forest; there have been subsequent reports they have been taken over the borders into Chad and Cameroon.…

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau first threatened to treat captured women and girls as slaves in a video released in May 2013.

It fuelled concern at the time that the group was adhering to the ancient Islamic belief that women captured during war are slaves, with whom their “masters” can have sex, correspondents say.18

“Each girl was sold as a bride to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira — $12,” notes Terrence McCoy for the Washington Post.19


i The Super Bowl is the single largest incident of human trafficking in the U.S. Because hundreds of thousands of fans descend upon the Super Bowl host city, it becomes the optimal breeding ground for forced workers, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told USA Today back in 2011.
– Eleanor Goldberg, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Slavery, Human Trafficking (And What You Can Do About It),” 15 January 2014, at (retrieved: 3 July 2014).

ii The FBI says they’ve recovered 105 missing and exploited children over the weekend by orchestrating a massive crackdown on crime rings that trafficked minors for sex.… According to a statement made early Monday [29 July 2013] by Ronald Hosko, the agency’s assistant director of their criminal investigative division, coordinated raids took place in 76 cities from coast-to-coast over the weekend under the umbrella of “Operation Cross-Country,” the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken by the FBI.… FBI investigators added that some of the men involved in pimping children did so at large sporting events, including the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament and the National Football League Super Bowl championship. Other highly frequented locales for child sex workers included street tracks and casinos, the FBI said.
– “FBI recovered 105 missing and sexually exploited children,”, 29 July 2013, at (retrieved: 30 July 2013).


human trafficking infographic

1 “The Number: Average price of slave has decreased,” CNN, 6 April 2011, at (retrieved: 28 November 2012).

2 Jerome Elam, “Pedophiles and pimps score at large sporting events like Super Bowl XLVI,” The Washington Times, 17 January 2012, at (retrieved: 28 November 2012).

3 Shannon Mullen, “FBI: Kids forced into prostitution for Super Bowl,” Asbury Park Park, 4 February 2014, at (retrieved: 4 February 2014).

4 Michael Winter, “FBI: Kids 13 to 17 rescued from Super Bowl prostitution,” USA Today, 4 February 2014, at (retrieved: 4 February 2014).

5 Mullen, “Kids forced.”

6 Elam, “Pedophiles and pimps.”

7 Tom McGhee, “Labor and sex traffickers practice modern slavery in Colorado,” The Denver Post, 19 December 2013, at (retrieved: 23 December 2013).

8 Help stop human trafficking, Public Health – Seattle & King County, at (retrieved: 19 March 2013).

9 Christine Clarridge, “Grants to help agencies fight child prostitution,” The Seattle Times, 9 September 2011, at (retrieved: 28 December 2012).

10 Danielle D., “Merriam-Webster: Change the Definition of “pimp” to a realistic definition,”, at (retrieved: 16 May 2013).

11 Megan Twohey, “Americans use the Internet to abandon children adopted from overseas,” Reuters Investigates, 9 September 2013, at (retrieved: 9 September 2013).

12 “Baby boy bought for $8000 for sex had adult sexual awareness by 22 months,” Courier Mail News, 5 December 2013, at (retrieved: 6 December 2013).

13 Megan Twohey (Reuters), “Special Report: Girl harbored dark secret, fearing she’d be sent away,” Yahoo News, 22 March 2014, at (retrieved: 22 March 2014).

14 Giles Tremlett, “Hundreds of Spanish babies ‘stolen from clinics and sold for adoption’,” The Guardian, 27 January 2011, at (retrieved: 19 December 2012).

15 Katya Adler, “Spain’s stolen babies and the families who lived a lie,” BBC News, Spain, 18 October 2011, at (retrieved: 19 December 2012).

16 Ted Jeory, “Social workers ‘sex up abuse claims to snatch children for adoption’,” Sunday Express, 11 December 2011, at (retrieved: 27 November 2013).

17 Audie Cornish talks with Todd Matthews, NPR, “Majority Of Missing Persons Cases Are Resolved,” 7 May 2013, at (retrieved: 25 July 2013).

18 “Nigeria girls’ abduction: Parents asked for photographs,” BBC News: Africa, 2 May 2014, at (retrieved: February 2014).

19 Terrence McCoy, “Hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian school girls reportedly sold as brides to militants for $12, relatives say,” Washington Post, 30 April 2014, at (retrieved: February 2014).

See also

Kevin J. Crosby, “Abuser Rings,”, in Tinfoil Hat at (retrieved: 30 July 2013).

Mikael Thalen, “Woman finds note from Chinese labor camp prisoner in Kmart decorations,”, 27 December 2012, at (retrieved: 28 December 2012).

“The Code wins Skal award for work in child protection in travel and tourism,” eTurboNews, 10 October 2013, at (retrieved: 1 January 2014).

Internet Pornography Statistics, second by second calculations, at (retrieved: 17 February 2013).

“THE PAEDOFILE: Mass grave in Miami stuns the US,” The Slog, 2 April 2013, at (retrieved: 6 April 2013).

Ann O’Neill, “Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers,” CNN News, 12 February 2007, at (retrieved: 21 May 2013).

MR.H, “More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals,”, 25 July 2013, at (retrieved: 25 July 2013).

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