IN NEWARK, 20 young women and girls from West Africa were discovered working in hair-braiding salons for 14 hours a day with no pay. Their employer ruled over the victims, some as young as 10, with beatings, sexual assaults, and voodoo curses. Closer to home, five people were indicted in Quincy for operating brothels in rented apartments using immigrant women kept in a state of debt bondage with threats of deportation. In Danvers, a 13-year old runaway girl was offered to a group of men at a Motel 6 by a woman living at the hotel with her son.
These are a few high-profile cases that resulted in arrests. But the US Department of Justice estimates that hundreds of thousands of people in this country are trafficked for coerced labor or sex. This includes American citizens, especially minor girls and sometimes boys, who are recruited, kidnapped, lured into drugs, beaten, raped, and forced to sell their bodies for money they never keep.
And you thought the 13th Amendment ended slavery.