Fighting Human trafficking with Not for Sale

Types of Modern-day Slavery and Human Trafficking

Firstly, what are the types of Modern-day slavery? It encompasses various forms of exploitation and forced labor, often involving the coercion and control of individuals. Some of the most common forms include:


Forced Labor

This involves individuals being compelled to work against their will, often under threat, coercion, or physical violence. They may work in factories, agriculture, domestic service, or other industries.


Human Trafficking

This involves the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or receipt of people through the use of force, fraud, or deception, for the purpose of exploitation, which can include forced labor or sexual exploitation.


Debt Bondage

This is where individuals are forced to work to repay a debt that often increases due to unreasonable interest rates or costs for basic necessities, making it nearly impossible to ever repay the debt.


Child Labor

Children may be subjected to labor that is harmful to their physical and mental development. They are often forced to work in hazardous conditions and denied access to education and a normal childhood.


Sex Trafficking

Victims of sex trafficking are forced into prostitution, pornography, or other forms of sexual exploitation through threats, deception, or coercion.


Domestic Servitude

 Some individuals, often migrants or vulnerable populations, are held in private homes and forced to work as domestic servants under exploitative conditions.


Forced Marriage

Forced marriage involves individuals being coerced into marriage against their will, often with little or no choice in selecting their spouse or the timing of the marriage.


Child Soldiers

Children are forcibly recruited and used as soldiers in armed conflicts, exposing them to extreme violence and psychological trauma.

Organ Trafficking

This involves the illegal trade of organs, where individuals are coerced or deceived into selling their organs or the organs of deceased family members.

Child Trafficking and Child Exploitation

Children are trafficked or exploited for various purposes, including forced begging, child labor, or child soldiering.

It’s important to note that these forms of modern-day slavery often overlap, and individuals can be subjected to multiple forms of exploitation simultaneously. Eradicating modern-day slavery requires a multi-faceted approach involving legal measures, awareness campaigns, victim support services, and international cooperation. Many organizations and governments are working to combat these forms of exploitation and protect the rights and dignity of those affected.


Children wait for their ride to school in the morning at Not For Sale Thailand



How Not For Sale are combatting this issue

To that end, Not For Sale is actively working to combat various forms of modern-day slavery within the context of these different categories.


Forced Labor:

   – Not For Sale actively partners with organizations and local communities to provide training and support for at-risk populations, empowering individuals to escape the cycle of forced labor.

We have been working in the Peruvian Amazon since 2009 where we’ve been supporting 10 communities, representing over 100,000 people, in an attempt to stop the men being forced into laboring in illegal gold mines and their children trafficked into larger coastal cities like Lima.


Human Trafficking:

   – Not For Sale conducts awareness campaigns, collaborates with law enforcement, and offers survivor support programs to help rescue victims of human trafficking and provide them with a path to recovery.

Over the last two decades Not For Sale has been members of and lead several global coalitions that have worked to help change laws in Washington DC, the EU, Canberra, Japan, and other locations around the world. 

Additionally we support work directly with survivors at our 10 projects around the globe. 

However what sets us apart from other organizations is our work at the root causes of modern-day slavery: economic vulnerability through development of business and addressing climate change through initiatives such as Rare Earth. 


Debt Bondage:

   – Through its economic empowerment programs, Not For Sale helps individuals break free from debt bondage by providing them with alternative livelihood opportunities and financial education.

Many of the individuals our team in the Netherlands work with fell prey to their traffickers due to debt in their home country – usually Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. A family member may fall ill and the family needs several hundred dollars to access the healthcare system. Only finding financial support from a loan shark, unknown to the victim that they’re a front for organized crime, the individual must go pay off the debt in a Western European country. 


Child Labor:

   – Not For Sale focuses on preventing child labor by improving access to education and supporting vulnerable families to ensure children are not forced into labor but can pursue their dreams and aspirations.

We are increasingly seeing the rise of child labor in Southeast Asia at the moment. Our projects and partners in Thailand and Vietnam are seeing an increase of children forced to work in agriculture – in fall 2023 our Thai project director was called by local law enforcement to pick up three kids in a situation of forced labor. When our team arrived there were nearly a dozen kids. Our team asked why they had been told that there were only three kids. The police confessed they were worried our team wouldn’t come if they’d told them the truth. 


Sex Trafficking:

   – Not For Sale works tirelessly to combat sex trafficking through education, outreach, and support services, giving survivors the tools to rebuild their lives and reintegrate into society.

In the Netherlands we run four restaurants which help provide the training and job experience for survivors of sex trafficking and other forms of exploitation.


Domestic Servitude:

   – Not For Sale supports the rescue and rehabilitation of individuals trapped in domestic servitude, offering safe shelters, counseling, and job training to help them regain their independence.

Our teams in East Africa are well aware of the risk the young people we work with in the countryside face. We help run schools in Uganda and Rwanda. But after graduation many of the young people we supported have a difficult time finding jobs – something we’re also working on. Domestic servitude is something our teams spend a lot of time working to stop the youth and young adults falling into in the larger East African cities and into the Middle East. 


Forced Marriage:

   – Not For Sale collaborates with local organizations to raise awareness about forced marriage, providing resources and assistance for those at risk or in need of escape.

Our partners in Vietnam have rescued over 1400 victims of human trafficking. Most of the people were brought from Vietnam into China, the vast majority were there due to forced marriage. 


Child Soldiers:

   – Not For Sale actively supports initiatives aimed at the demobilization and rehabilitation of child soldiers, ensuring they receive the care and opportunities they deserve.

Our first engagement in Uganda in 2009 was with a school helping educate former child soldiers. Some of the kids we work with now in Uganda, DRC, and Rwanda are also recovering child soldiers. 


Organ Trafficking:

   – Not For Sale works in conjunction with other organizations and governments to combat organ trafficking and promote ethical organ donation practices, protecting vulnerable individuals from exploitation.

Again our teams in Southeast Asia are extremely alarmed by the rise in organ trafficking, driven by the demand for organs particularly in China. 


Child Trafficking and Child Exploitation:

   – Not For Sale takes a comprehensive approach to prevent child trafficking and exploitation by advocating for children’s rights, offering educational programs, and supporting survivors in their recovery journey.

Not For Sale Thailand, our first project, was and is geared toward helping kids that have been trafficked. It continues to be a project at our heart and soul as an organization. 


These comments showcase Not For Sale’s multifaceted efforts to combat modern-day slavery and provide support to victims, survivors, and vulnerable communities around the world. Their dedication and collaborations are essential in the fight against these forms of exploitation.

Co-Founder Update

Co-Founder Update

Written by

This week I’d like to provide you updates from several of our projects in the field. The effects that COVID-19 is having on our community of survivors is very real. 

Peruvian Amazon

Our fishery project deep in the Peruvian Amazon has been crucial to keeping many indigenous communities COVID-19 free because they don’t need to travel into the city to purchase their protein. If the people there contracted COVID-19 it would have horrific effects, as they lack access to hospitals that are equipped to handle the pandemic. However, adding new fisheries was halted last month because of a funding shortage due to COVID-19.

“Not since the early days of the HIV pandemic have I witnessed such challenges. South Africa is under lockdown. There is so much fear around what Covid-19 could do because of the number of people with HIV.”

Southern Africa Not For Sale Director – Tom Hewitt

Bahn Kru Nam, Golden Triangle, Thailand

Typically, half of the kids that live at our Bahn Kru Nam community home attend boarding schools during the school year. Due to COVID-19, all of our kids are back living in the home. This has put great stress on our staff, who now have to feed more kids than expected, help with school work, and much more. Making things more difficult, food costs have tripled, putting pressure on our already limited budget, which had to be cut due to COVID-related funding shortages. 


Durban, South Africa

Our Southern Africa director, Tom Hewitt, shared the following: “Not since the early days of the HIV pandemic have I witnessed such challenges. South Africa is under lockdown. There is so much fear around what Covid-19 could do because of the number of people with HIV.”

We have ensured that all of our children are in safe local care throughout this lockdown period. This plan is vital as the homeless are being rounded up and put in poor conditions in stadiums and “hostels.”

At this critical time, our funding to support our work in South Africa has been cut short due to COVID-19.


We will continue to share updates from the field and the reality of the effect that COVID-19 is having on our work. Thank you for your continued support.

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I am, because you are

I am, because you are

Written by

15 years ago I sat on a balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean in Durban, South Africa. I was with my former professor and future co-founder of Not For Sale, David Batstone. Stiff drink in hand, we discussed this insane thing called human trafficking.

It was during this conversation that we decided to start Not For Sale.

For the previous half year I had worked with a friend, Tom Hewitt, assisting his non-profit organization that uses sport to support at-risk and exploited youth. Tom later became Not For Sale’s Southern Africa Director, helping drive our programming in both South Africa and Mozambique. 

One of the many lasting things that stayed with me from my time in Southern African was an ethic called ubuntu. 

Quite literally my humanity is tied to yours, and your humanity is tied to mine. And our humanity is tied to the people that Not For Sale serves on a daily basis.

Co-Founder of Not For Sale – Mark Wexler

A rough translation of ubuntu’s meaning is: “I am because you are.” 

Another way to think of ubuntu, is that everything I do has an effect on you and your well being, and everything you do has an effect on me and my well being. Sure, we might be different, but undoubtedly we are interconnected. And importantly that is what animates our humanity. Our connectedness is actually what makes us…. us. 

Today, for the first time ever, on a global scale we are facing down a foe, COVID-19, that illuminates these (for many of us) previously invisible ties of ubuntu. Quite literally my humanity is tied to yours, and your humanity is tied to mine. And our humanity is tied to the people that Not For Sale serves on a daily basis.

Over the last few days we have talked with many of Not For Sale’s project leaders around the world. COVID-19 is having a real effect on people we serve.

We wanted to briefly share with you some of the immediately known effects on our work:

UGANDA: Last year Not For Sale supported 1,512 children refugees gain access to education in Uganda. We learned Friday that schools have been ordered closed for a month as a precaution. This will have a massive ripple effect on our kids. For most of them the food they receive at our school is the only meal they eat on any given day. We’re working on a way to safely deliver meals throughout the refugee camp.

NETHERLANDS: Our Dignita restaurants in Amsterdam have been ordered closed indefinitely. This has meant that our culinary training program for survivors, which supported 164 people last year, is working to set up an online video training course.

VIETNAM: Our partners are seeing an uptick in human traffickers preying on people most effected by COVID-19. This is in large part due to business closures and job losses which means that families are unable to provide for their children. It means that teenage girls are at higher risk of early marriage. But even through all this, just yesterday, our team rescued a 23 year old woman that was trafficked into China 6 months ago. (She remains in 2 week quarantine.) 

Over the duration of this crisis, we will be sharing with you updates on the effect COVID-19 is having on our team, friends, partners, and the people that we serve. Later this week we will share with you an interview with co-founder, David Batstone. 

More than ever we are committed to helping people that need support. Our resolve has not wavered, it is only strengthened by what we are up against with COVID-19.

In the spirit of ubuntu, acknowledging our interconnectedness, we will also be coming to you, our Not For Sale family, as specific needs arise in our community of survivors and at-risk people to appeal for your help as well. 

In Solidarity, Mark Wexler

Co-Founder & CEO, Not For Sale

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Meet Sne Makhubu: Not For Sale South Africa

Meet Sne Makhubu of Not For Sale South Africa.

At only 15 years old Sne is already a role model to many in South Africa and is one of Not For Sale’s most inspirational success stories.

Sne was introduced to surfing at 9 years old by her coach Sandile Mqadi who works with Not For Sale South Africa,and hosts a surf club for local kids in efforts to keep them off the streets and away from exploitation. As soon as Sne was put on a board, she fell in love. She began swimming lessons and training in life-saving.

It wasn’t long until she was launched into her contest career, being chosen to represent KZN at the Grommet Games in Port Elizabeth. Today, at just 15, Sne is rated in the top five under-eighteen surfers in the entire country and is a potential World Surf League Women’s Qualifying Series world tour contender as well as 2020 Olympic Surfing Candidate.

Apart from being an extremely talented surfer, Sne has a huge heart for giving back to her community. Sne supports Not For Sale by donating surf equipment, and  volunteers where she was first mentored and found her love of surfing.

We are amazed by Sne’s journey along with her passion to give back to her community and will be rooting for her in 2020! #SheInspiresMe