Understanding Human Trafficking: Books, Documentaries, and Historical Perspectives

Understanding human trafficking, a global issue that affects millions, is crucial in combating this modern form of slavery. This comprehensive guide explores recommended books, impactful documentaries, and historical perspectives to shed light on various aspects of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Recommended books on Modern-day slavery

Explore these insightful books that delve into the complex world of modern-day slavery:

Not For Sale Book

“Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade—and How We Can Fight It” by David Batstone

Batstone uncovers the modern slavery industry, recounting true stories and the ongoing global efforts to combat this issue.

Download Resources to Accompany Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade—and How We Can Fight It:
University Curriculum Guide
Bible Study
Prayer Guide
Audiobook (Note: first version)

Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy” by Kevin Bales: This book offers a compelling look at modern slavery worldwide, providing a new framework for understanding how and why it still persists today.

“Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves” by Kevin Bales: A follow-up to his earlier work, Bales outlines the steps needed to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery.

“The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today” by Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter: This book exposes the disturbing phenomenon of human trafficking and slavery in the U.S., revealing how it is often hidden in plain sight.

“Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery” by Siddharth Kara: Kara provides a detailed, business analysis approach to the problem of sex trafficking worldwide.

“Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn: While not exclusively about slavery, this book addresses issues of female oppression, including trafficking and forced prostitution.

“The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine” by Somaly Mam: This memoir recounts Mam’s life from being trafficked into the sex industry as a child to becoming a leading advocate against human trafficking.

“A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery” by E. Benjamin Skinner: Skinner explores the dark world of modern-day slavery, reporting from various global hotspots.

“Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself” by Rachel Lloyd: Lloyd shares her own experiences with commercial sexual exploitation and her work with survivors, providing insights into the challenges faced by victims of sex trafficking.

These books offer various perspectives, from personal narratives to analytical explorations, shedding light on the complexities and nuances of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Impactful Documentaries on Modern-day slavery

Here are five impactful documentaries that shed light on various aspects of modern-day slavery, offering insights into its global prevalence and the efforts to combat it:


  1. “The True Cost” (2015)

Directed by Andrew Morgan, this documentary focuses on the fashion industry, revealing the harsh realities of labor exploitation and poor working conditions in garment factories in developing countries. It explores how the demand for cheap clothing in the West contributes to modern forms of slavery.

  1. “I Am Jane Doe” (2017)

Directed by Mary Mazzio, this documentary follows the legal battles of several American mothers on behalf of their daughters, who were trafficked for sex on the classified advertising website Backpage.com. It highlights the fight against online child sex trafficking and the complexities of holding internet platforms accountable.

  1. “Not My Life” (2011)   

Directed by Robert Bilheimer and narrated by Glenn Close, ‘Not My Life’ is a globally filmed documentary that comprehensively depicts the cruel and dehumanizing practices of human trafficking and modern slavery on a global scale, spanning five continents and a dozen countries.

  1. “13th” (2016)   

Directed by Ava DuVernay, this documentary explores the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States. While its primary focus is on the criminal justice system, it also touches upon the issue of prison labor, drawing parallels to modern-day slavery.

  1. “Ghost Fleet” (2018)

Directed by Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron, ‘Ghost Fleet’ follows a small group of activists who risk their lives to find justice and freedom for the enslaved fishermen trapped at sea on fishing fleets in Indonesia. It exposes the harsh realities of human trafficking in the global seafood industry.

Each of these documentaries brings to light different facets of modern-day slavery, from labor exploitation in various industries to sex trafficking and the role of systemic injustice. They serve as powerful tools for raising awareness and understanding the complexities of this critical human rights issue.

Recommended books on the history of slavery

Researching and understanding slavery before the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers insights into a much older and globally diverse practice of enslavement. Here are ten significant books that delve into various aspects of slavery across different cultures and eras prior to the Transatlantic Slave Trade:

Depiction of captives or slaves from a war, shown being led with ropes tied around their necks, in a relief dating back to the late 12th or 13th century. This artwork is located in the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom, Cambodia, as seen in an image featured on History Today’s National Gallery of Cambodia (https://www.historytoday.com/national-gallery/national-gallery-cambodia).

  1. Slavery in the Ancient Near East” by Isaac Mendelsohn**: This book provides a detailed study of slavery in early civilizations like Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria, offering insights into the roles and lives of slaves in these societies.

  1. Slavery in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia” by William Linn Westermann**: A comprehensive overview of slavery in two of the earliest civilizations, focusing on the legal, economic, and social aspects of slavery.

  1. Greek and Roman Slavery” by Thomas Wiedemann**: This book offers a comparative study of slavery in ancient Greece and Rome, providing a nuanced understanding of the role and treatment of slaves in classical antiquity.

  1. Slavery in the Roman World” by Sandra R. Joshel**: Joshel examines the institution of slavery in Roman society, discussing various aspects such as the acquisition, use, and emancipation of slaves.

  1. Slave Systems of Greek and Roman Antiquity” by William L. Westermann**: An in-depth historical analysis of the slave systems in ancient Greece and Rome, exploring the economic, social, and legal dimensions of slavery in these cultures.

6.*”The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture” by David Brion Davis**: While not exclusively focused on pre-Transatlantic slavery, this book provides crucial context for understanding the cultural and intellectual roots of slavery in Western societies.

  1. Bondmen and Rebels: A Study of Master-Slave Relations in Antigua” by David Barry Gaspar**: This book, though focusing on a later period, offers valuable insights into the nature of master-slave relations that can be applied to earlier forms of slavery.

  1. Slavery in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia” by William D. Phillips Jr.**: This book explores the history of slavery in the Iberian Peninsula before the rise of the Atlantic slave trade, highlighting the diversity of slave experiences in medieval and early modern Spain and Portugal.

  1. The Cambridge World History of Slavery: Volume 1, The Ancient Mediterranean World” edited by Keith Bradley and Paul Cartledge**: This volume provides an extensive overview of slavery in the ancient Mediterranean, covering various civilizations and periods.

  1. Early Slavery at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1717″ by Karel Schoeman**: This book offers an exploration of slavery in the early Dutch Cape Colony before the establishment of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, providing a different geographical perspective.

These books collectively offer a broad and detailed examination of slavery in various ancient and medieval societies, illustrating the complexity and ubiquity of the institution long before the advent of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Documentaries on slavery from a historical perspective

While documentaries focusing on slavery before the Transatlantic Slave Trade are relatively rare, there are historical series and documentaries that provide context for understanding slavery’s broader historical scope:

  1. Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire”  – While not exclusively about slavery, this BBC documentary series offers insights into Roman society, where slavery was a central element. It provides a comprehensive view of the Roman Empire, including the role and life of slaves.

  1. Lost Worlds: The Story of Archaeology” – This series includes episodes that delve into ancient civilizations where slavery was practiced, such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It offers archaeological insights into these societies, including aspects of slavery.

  1. Engineering an Empire” – Produced by The History Channel, this series explores the engineering feats of various ancient empires. Episodes focusing on civilizations like Rome and Egypt indirectly provide context for understanding the role of slaves in building these monumental structures.

  1. Slavery and the Making of America” – This PBS documentary series, while primarily focused on American slavery, includes early episodes that provide the historical backdrop of slavery, touching upon its origins and how it evolved over time into the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

  1. Spartacus” – This documentary explores the story of Spartacus, the famous slave who led a major uprising against the Roman Republic. It offers insight into the conditions of slavery in ancient Rome and the resistance against it.

These documentaries and series provide a broader understanding of slavery in historical contexts before the Transatlantic Slave Trade. They offer insights into how slavery was integrated into various ancient and medieval societies and help in understanding the evolution of this inhumane practice.

Combating Human Trafficking

Understanding human trafficking is the first step in combating it. Here are additional ways to contribute to the fight against modern-day slavery:

Support Anti-Trafficking Organizations like Not for Sale

If you don’t support us, please support the cause and consider donating to or volunteering with other organizations dedicated to combating human trafficking, such as:

Raise Awareness

Use your voice and social platforms to educate others about human trafficking. Share informative articles, documentaries, and stories to raise awareness.

Report Suspicious Activity

If you suspect human trafficking in your community, report it to local law enforcement or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 (in the U.S)

Advocate for Policy Changes

Support legislation aimed at strengthening anti-trafficking laws and protecting victims’ rights. Contact your elected representatives to voice your concerns.


Let’s help end modern-day slavery together

Understanding human trafficking and modern-day slavery is essential in the fight against this grave violation of human rights. Whether through books, documentaries, historical perspectives, or taking proactive steps to combat trafficking, educating ourselves and others is a crucial step towards eradicating this global issue. By working together, we can create a world where no one is subjected to the horrors of human trafficking, and every individual enjoys the freedom and dignity they deserve.

Deep dive into the history of Modern-day Slavery & Human trafficking

The history of slavery, modern-day slavery and human trafficking is a complex and evolving issue that spans centuries and continents. It is a tale of human rights violations that have morphed over time, adapting to changes in global dynamics, economics, and technology.

Slavery Before the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Depiction of captives or slaves from a war, shown being led with ropes tied around their necks, in a relief dating back to the late 12th or 13th century. This artwork is located in the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom, Cambodia, as seen in an image featured on History Today’s National Gallery of Cambodia.

Slavery before the Transatlantic Slave Trade was a widespread practice with a long history, varying significantly across different regions and cultures. Here’s a brief overview:

Ancient Civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome)**: Slavery was a common feature in ancient civilizations. In Mesopotamia and Egypt, slaves were used for domestic services, agricultural labor, and large-scale construction projects like pyramids and temples. In ancient Greece, particularly in Athens, slaves were employed in households, mines, and as rowers in galleys. Rome had a vast number of slaves, used as domestic servants, artisans, factory workers, and even as gladiators.

Islamic World: Slavery was practiced in Islamic lands from the 7th century onwards. Slaves were used for a variety of purposes, including as soldiers (Mamluks in Egypt), servants, and laborers. The Islamic slave trade also involved the transportation of slaves from Africa to the Middle East and North Africa.

African Slavery: Before the Transatlantic Slave Trade, various forms of servitude and slavery existed in different African societies. Some were akin to European serfdom, while others involved the enslavement of prisoners of war or debtors. African slaves were sometimes used as domestic workers, soldiers, or officials.

Asian Slavery: In India, China, and Southeast Asia, slavery existed in various forms. In China, for example, slavery was primarily domestic, while in India, the caste system had aspects that were similar to slavery. In Southeast Asia, slavery ranged from war captives to debt bondage.

Americas: Pre-Columbian civilizations like the Aztecs and Mayans practiced slavery, typically using slaves for labor, human sacrifice, or as pawn slaves (debt bondage).

Europe: During the Middle Ages, serfdom, a condition not unlike slavery, was widespread in Europe. Serfs were bound to the land and subject to the will of the landowners.

The nature of slavery varied considerably in these societies. In some, it was more akin to indentured servitude or serfdom, with certain rights or paths to freedom for the enslaved. In others, it was more severe, with slaves regarded as property. Unlike the race-based chattel slavery that developed during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, earlier forms of slavery were often not explicitly based on race but on social status, debt, war captivity, or religion.


Reading List about slavery before the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Five Documentaries about slavery before the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The Early History of modern-day Slavery and Evolution of Terms

Enslaved people cut sugarcane on the Caribbean island of Antigua in 1823.

The British Library (Public Domain)

Transatlantic Slave Trade (1500-1866)

The origins of modern-day slavery are deeply embedded in the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This era, spanning over three centuries, involved European nations such as Portugal in the capture and enslavement of African people, who were then transported across the Atlantic to various parts of the world, particularly the Americas. The trade was not only legal but also endorsed and regulated by government authorities at the time. 

Read More about The Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Portrait of Wilberforce House, Hull Museum, Hull City Council by Anton Hickel (Public Domain)

William Wilberforce (1759-1833)

A key figure in the movement to abolish this trade was William Wilberforce, a British politician and a leader of the anti-slavery movement in the UK. His relentless advocacy and parliamentary campaigns were instrumental in the eventual abolition of the slave trade in Britain with the passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807. Wilberforce’s efforts inspired similar movements across other nations, contributing significantly to the global fight against slavery.

Read More about William Wilberforce.

Of course, as we know, slavery did not end with the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in 1866.

llustration: From Roy D. Graves pictorial collection, preserved and maintained for the public by the Division of Cultural Resources and Museum Management, which includes the Park Archives and Records Center (PARC).

Trafficking of Chinese Immigrants into the United States (19th Century)

Following the Transatlantic Slave Trade era, the mid-19th century witnessed the emergence of new forms of human trafficking, involving Chinese immigrants in the United States.

This period, characterized by the allure of the California Gold Rush and the demand for labor in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, saw not only the influx of Chinese laborers but also the exploitation of these immigrants. Many Chinese men were trafficked for labor, enduring harsh conditions and severe exploitation in various industries. 

Simultaneously, Chinese women were often coerced into prostitution, largely orchestrated by criminal syndicates known as Tongs. This era marked a significant phase of both labor and sexual exploitation within the Chinese immigrant community.

Read More about the Trafficking of Chinese Immigrants into the United States.

Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking Today

The landscape of slavery and human trafficking has undergone a significant transformation since the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Today, modern-day slavery manifests in various insidious forms, including bonded labor, the exploitation of child labor in global supply chains, and the grim reality of child soldiers and forced marriages. 

Additionally, human trafficking continues to plague global societies, with individuals being trafficked for labor in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing, as well as for sexual exploitation.

Despite the establishment of international laws aimed at combating these issues, challenges remain prevalent, exacerbated by factors like poverty, corruption, and ineffective law enforcement. This complex scenario underscores the urgent need for enhanced global cooperation and a steadfast commitment to upholding human rights, as the fight against these modern forms of slavery and human trafficking continues in earnest.

Resource: definitions and forms of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Our Recommended Reading List for books about modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Five Documentaries about modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Myths about modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

International Compacts, Agreements, and Legal Frameworks Against Forced Labor and Human Trafficking

International Agreement for the Suppression of “White Slave Traffic” or the MANN Act (1910)

In response to the increasing problem of European women being coerced into forced prostitution, a coalition of international governments united to establish the inaugural global accord targeting human trafficking. This agreement primarily concentrated on protecting migrant women and children from exploitation.

Read More the International Agreement for the Suppression of “White Slave Traffic” or the MANN Act..

The International Labor Organization (ILO)

The establishment of the ILO was a pivotal move in setting protective standards for working conditions, representing a crucial advancement in the recognition and fight against labor exploitation.

Read More about The International Labor Organization: Formation, Purpose, and Work

International Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Women and Children (1921)

The League of Nations facilitated the signing of this convention, acknowledging the high incidence of human trafficking for both forced labor and sexual exploitation during the early 1900s. This agreement was crucial in expanding the definition of human trafficking to include all races and both genders.

Read More about the International Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Women and Children.

United Nations Convention (1949)

Post-World War II, the United Nations adopted its first legally binding international agreement on human trafficking, focusing on the suppression of trafficking in persons and the exploitation of prostitution.

Read More about the United Nations Convention on Human Trafficking.

Modern Developments and Challenges 

The Internet and Social Media (1980-Present)

With the rise of the internet and social media, human trafficking underwent a radical transformation. Traffickers now exploit victims via digital platforms, including those selling sexual content and seemingly innocuous social media sites. These platforms facilitate grooming, recruitment, and advertising of sexual services.

Read More about The Internet and Social Media as part of the rise of digital exploitation.

Climate Change

Climate change significantly contributes to the exacerbation of modern-day slavery, forced labor, and human trafficking. As it disrupts ecosystems and economies, particularly in vulnerable regions, climate change acts as a catalyst for displacement and poverty, pushing communities into precarious situations. For instance, extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and agricultural disruptions force people to migrate, often without secure plans or resources, making them susceptible to traffickers who exploit their desperation. In regions facing severe environmental degradation, traditional livelihoods become untenable, compelling individuals, including children, to seek work in hazardous conditions, often characterized by exploitative labor practices. Additionally, climate change-induced conflicts over resources can further destabilize societies, increasing the risk of trafficking and forced labor. Thus, the impacts of climate change are not only environmental but also deeply social, creating conditions that traffickers can exploit, and presenting a complex challenge to the global fight against modern slavery and human trafficking.

Read More about how climate change contributes to the rise of modern-day slavery.

United Nations Protocol (2000)

In a major step forward, the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children was adopted. This protocol acknowledged modern-day slavery and expanded the definition of human trafficking to include organ harvesting and forced labor. The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) was launched in 2007, emphasizing a global approach to combating this issue.

Read More about the United Nations Protocol. 

Trafficking Victims Protection Act (2000)

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), enacted in 2000 and subsequently reauthorized, represents a significant legislative milestone in the United States’ fight against human trafficking. This act provides a comprehensive framework, defining human trafficking and establishing extensive measures for the prevention of trafficking, protection of victims, and prosecution of perpetrators. It notably introduced severe penalties for trafficking offenses, enhanced victim assistance measures, and established the T-Visa, allowing victims to stay and assist in legal actions in the U.S. Moreover, it set up the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, tasked with coordinating efforts against trafficking and preparing the influential annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. The TVPA’s enactment signaled a robust commitment by the U.S. to address both domestic and international human trafficking, paving the way for more effective legal, social, and political responses to this global challenge.

Read More about the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

EU Anti-Trafficking Directive (2011)

Adopted in 2011, the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive, formally known as Directive 2011/36/EU, stands as a pivotal legal framework within the European Union, aimed at combating human trafficking. This directive outlines a comprehensive approach that encompasses the prevention of trafficking, the protection of victims, and the prosecution of offenders. It defines the scope of human trafficking to include various forms of exploitation such as sexual exploitation, forced labor, and organ removal. Key provisions of the directive mandate member states to ensure robust victim support services, including access to legal assistance, healthcare, and housing. It also calls for stringent penalties for traffickers, including holding legal entities accountable for trafficking-related offenses. Furthermore, the directive emphasizes the importance of prevention through public awareness campaigns and reduction of demand, and it advocates for enhanced cooperation and data exchange among EU countries and institutions to tackle this transnational issue effectively.

Read More about the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive. 

Other Country Specific Anti-Trafficking Laws

In addition to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in the USA and the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive, several other countries have notable country-specific anti-trafficking laws that are pivotal in the global fight against human trafficking. Some of these include:

*India – The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956: Originally known as the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, it was amended in 1986 and is the primary legislation in India for combating trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

*United Kingdom – Modern Slavery Act, 2015: This Act consolidates and simplifies previous offenses relating to trafficking and slavery. It introduces measures to protect victims of slavery and trafficking, and it requires businesses to report on their actions to prevent modern slavery in their operations.

*Canada – The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, 2014: This Act is part of Canada’s strategy against human trafficking, focusing on criminalizing the purchase of sexual services, providing assistance to victims, and public awareness campaigns.

*Australia – Modern Slavery Act, 2018: Similar to the UK’s legislation, Australia’s Modern Slavery Act requires certain large businesses and entities to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and the actions taken to address those risks.

*Brazil – The National Policy to Combat Trafficking in Persons: Established in 2006, this policy in Brazil aims to prevent trafficking, suppress the trafficking networks, and ensure assistance to victims, along with promoting their social reintegration.

*Thailand – Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act B.E. 2551 (2008): This Act represents Thailand’s comprehensive legal framework to combat human trafficking, with provisions for prevention, prosecution of traffickers, and protection of victims.

*Philippines – Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003: This Act, officially known as Republic Act No. 9208, is a landmark legislation in the Philippines, criminalizing all forms of trafficking and establishing strong penalties for offenders.

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.