human trafficking

The fate of a human trafficking lawsuit against Backpage.com is now in the hands of the Washington Supreme Court.

A new documentary by Fusion tells the story of Tenancingo, Mexico — just a few hours south of Mexico City. Tenancingo is in the Mexican state that is the single largest source of sex slaves who are sent to the U.S., according to the U.S. State Department.

Fusion’s documentary, “Pimp City: A Journey to the Center of the Sex Slave Trade,” takes place on both sides of the border: in Tenancingo and in Queens, New York. Many of the women taken in Tenancingo wind up working in Queens.

Photo Credit ICE

On Monday, Sung Hoon Ha, 30, was deported to South Korea after living in the U.S. for eight years. He had been caught operating a human smuggling ring in Washington state.

Flickr Photo/Michael Scheltgen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A new study finds spending on the underground sex trade in Seattle has gone way up. Of the cities studied, Seattle is one of only two where spending increased, and it’s not pennies: $50 million in 2003 to $112 million in 2007.

Flickr Photo/publik16 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A new human trafficking bill passed the state Legislature Monday that will allow victims who were forced into prostitution to clear their records of prostitution charges.

Removing one conviction has already been the law for a couple years. But now, a victim is able to get more than one charge vacated.

Flickr Photo/Brian (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Those caught up in it call it "the life." It usually involves a pimp, coercion and prostitution.

For young victims of sex trafficking, getting out of that life and building a new one can be a monumental task. Having a rap sheet for prostitution makes it  incredibly difficult to apply for jobs, or housing, or school — the things it takes to start over.

Flickr Photo/Tom Woodward

Two and a half weeks ago the FBI, in partnership with local law enforcement, conducted a cross-country sweep looking to help stop child sex trafficking. They recovered dozens of under-age victims who have been forced into prostitution, and they arrested their pimps. Three child victims were found in Washington state, and nine people were arrested here.

On Tuesday,  something very different happened at FBI offices in downtown Seattle.

Tom Doegler's book "On Occassion."

Understanding The Facts Behind Human Trafficking
Is Seattle the number one place for sex trafficking in the country? Is Washington state third in the country? That’s what some people are hearing. Facts and figures are used to inform the public and lawmakers about human trafficking but misinformation can be passed on as well. KUOW’s Sara Lerner joins us to explain how we get the right and wrong information about human trafficking.

Reflections On Commencement
Seattle’s Tom Doelger has been teaching English to high school students at Lakeside School since 1985.  This time of year he’s often called on to speak to graduating students and their families. Doegler's reflections on life’s crossroads are always drawn from his own personal experiences. Doegler's path to teaching was an unlikely one. He underwent a jarring life transition as he moved from the glamorous world of 1970s Aspen, Colo. ski patrol to a job teaching writing to middle schoolers. Doelger speaks with KUOW’s Dave Beck about his book “On Occasion: Tom Doelger Speaks.”

The Woman Behind “Let’s Pretend”
There weren’t a lot of female directors during the Golden Age of Radio. Nila Mack was one of the few who earned herself an office on the 14th floor of CBS beside Edward R. Murrow. 

Recommended Eating
Food writer Sara Dickerman joins us with a lunch recommendation. Prefer to cook for yourself? She also has a pick for a great cookbook!

flickr photo/ caribbeanfreephoto

It's obvious from his interview with The Guardian newspaper that Andrew Snowden knew leaking NSA secrets would get him into hot water. But he seems to have planned for that. Somehow, he's disappeared from his Hong Kong hotel room. Some have suggested he might find refuge in Russia, on mainland China, or on some remote island in the Philippines.

Christopher Pyle knows a thing or two about blowing whistles. In 1970, while in the U.S. Army, he disclosed the extent of the military's surveillance of the protest movement. That led, in part, to the Watergate scandal. Mr. Pyle now teaches politics at Mount Holyoke College and is the author of several books on military surveillance of civilians. The CBC's Carol Off asked him for insight on Snowden's situation.

Other stories on KUOW Presents,  June 11:

Catching Up With Our Human Trafficking Series

Jun 10, 2013
flickr photo/ Randy Wick

Last week, we began running an outstanding series on human trafficking from WGBH called "The Underground Trade." We're halfway through, with more episodes scheduled through the week. If you've just tuned in, this is your chance to catch up.

A System Of Modern Slavery That Touches All Points On The Globe

Boston-based reporter Phillip Martin began with a police bust of a ring of massage parlors that offer more than massages. Many reporters would have stopped there. But Phillip started pulling on the "thread" of that story, and over his eight-part series, he's unraveled the whole sweater, tracing the route of human traffic all around the world to its roots in Southeast Asia.

It's A Local Problem, Too

Here in Seattle, we're adding local context to this story, capitalizing on the expertise of KUOW reporter Sara Lerner, who created a similar series here on KUOW a few years ago. This time around, Sara's reported on Seattle's John School and how pimps recruit women in the Puget Sound region. From the youth reporters at KUOW's RadioActive, we heard from a local woman who was enslaved in Grays Harbor County, and we ended our series with more reporting from Sara: a discussion on KUOW's Weekday about misconceptions surrounding child sex trafficking stats in the Puget Sound region. 

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 10:

In a recent radio piece, WGBH’s Phillip Martin explored forced prostitution in East Asia. That’s a problem in the Puget Sound region, too.

Pimps here often prey on young girls who’ve run away from home. Detective Todd Novisedlak of the Seattle Police Department says that in some ways it’s similar to cases in Vietnam. He said traffickers here, too, prey on young girls’ susceptibility to fall in love.

NASA

In New York, this school year was the first year neighborhood schools were required to accept students with special needs into regular classrooms. They've made the transition with the aid of high-tech gadgets. You can hear that story online.

Michelle Buetow says we could learn something from New York's experiment. She's co-president of Seattle's Special Education PTSA. She says although Seattle is a high-tech city, its approach to special education is decidedly low-tech. She says “it’s borderline criminal that a city built on high-tech resources has chosen not to fund these kinds of gadgets for students with special needs.” But school districts strapped for cash have struggled to find money for these kinds of technologies.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 5:

People take long flights to pay low prices for sex. In a radio story from WGBH, Phillip Martin explores the international sex tourism industry. Here in the Seattle area, Highway 99 hosts one main corridor where prostitution is easy to see. Hot spots dot the roadway, from Northgate to Sea-Tac. 

Some of those prostitutes are also underage girls, forced by pimps to walk the streets. That's called child sex trafficking.

Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, Look Magazine, February 27,1940

There's a new Superman movie coming out this month. Why does the story of the man of steel continue to resonate with people? Perhaps he represents a myth we like to tell ourselves: that given absolute power, we would choose to use it for good.

That's right, keep telling yourself that.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 4:

WGBH

Slavery. When we hear that word, we often think of it as something in the distant past. But an underground network of human cargo thrives right under our noses.

Today, we hear the first in a special series on human trafficking. We'll start small, as police bust up a prostitution ring in a small Boston town. It's a story that could have happened anywhere. Here in Seattle, police busted a similar ring two years ago.

Boston investigative reporter Phillip Martin wanted to go deeper than the breaking stories of busts and find out what's beneath the surface. As he began unraveling the story, it took him all over the globe. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll follow him from Boston to Thailand to China and back, and over that period we'll discover that these stories of prostitution rings are part of a much larger story. It's a story that links two different kinds of men: the western man who believes Asian women are more willing to please, and the kidnapper who transports young girls across Southeast Asian borders.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, June 3:

Pages