Young boy in Vietnam looking over a bridge where those vulnerable to human trafficking sleep

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 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.