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We started our podcast in October to give a policy and academic examination of human trafficking.

We started our podcast in October to give a policy and academic examination of human trafficking.
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We started our podcast in October to give a policy and academic examination of human trafficking.




The NXIVM Nexius: Human Trafficking and Cults

Seth and JJ tackle the complicated case of NXIVM--how did an MLM that sold itself as an “executive success program” under the direction of Keith Raniere end up with massive public attention...and more importantly, with many arrests and federal indictments on sex and labor trafficking? We detail how a group (DOS, or the Vow) within a group (Jness) within a group (NXIVM) ended up with a 2019 trial on human trafficking--and more broadly, how cults and human trafficking have a lot of overlap....


So, What’s This White Slavery Thing?

In this episode, Seth and JJ break down white slavery--the history, the reasoning, and the myths that continue to be present in the field of modern human trafficking. Listen in for a lot of nuances about eotic service provision, JJ yelling about exploitation films (and penny dreadfuls) from the 1920s, and a deep dive into US laws. Where does the “myth” of white slavery come from, and how has it persisted? Bonus points: we take on “Taken” once again. Sources: Doezema, Jo. "Loose women or lost...


William Wilberforce: Friend or Foe?

This week, Seth and JJ tackle a "god" in the field of human trafficking work--William Wilberforce himself. Why do we as a field focus on only certain kinds of historic abolitionists as models? Should modern anti-trafficking workers still call themselves abolitionists? What about leaders from affected populations--has a lack of focus on them really been the result of white supremacy? We try to tackle this tough subject with humor, yelling, and and a whole lot of 1800s court transcripts....


How The Coffee Crisis Led To Mexican Migration To the US

The US is once again pulling out of the International Coffee Agreement. The collapse of the previous ICA in 1989, with the US pulling out, is one factor that led to the coffee crisis in the early 2000s. Seth discusses how a series of events, including Mexico implementing US policy recommendations for liberalization, hurt indigenous coffee farmers in Southern Mexico, to the point where coffee and corn were no longer sustainable, and they migrated north, with many coming to the US. Reports...


Lindsey Lohan on Trafficking and Kanye West on Slavery

Lindsey Lohan and Kanye West have both been in the news recently. Lohan tried to help a family, accused them of trafficking children, and tried to take their kids. West has tried to make some points about slavery. Seth and JJ talk about what they they did, what they seemed to be trying to do, and what we can learn from it. Sources: Lindsay Lohan Punched in Face ... After Accusing Couple of Trafficking their Kids, TMZ People Are Concerned About Lindsay Lohan After She Was Punched In The Face...


A Visit to Evergreen and Whitney Plantation

Seth discusses his recent visit to Evergreen Plantation and Whitney Plantation. Evergreen is the most intact plantation in the South, which includes 22 slave cabins in their original positions. The nearby Whitney Plantation opened as a slavery museum in 2014 that includes memorials to the slaves of the plantation and to enslaved babies that died in the county. Whitney also integrates slave narratives from the Federal Writers' Project. Sources: Evergreen Plantation Whitney Plantation The U.S....


An Anti-Trafficking Movie Without Trafficking?

Seth and JJ review A Child's Voice, a movie involving satanic ritual abuse that's supposed to be about human trafficking, but that fails to actually portray human trafficking, has an awful script, and has an affinity for bowl cuts. JJ gives some examples of missed opportunities where this movie could have portrayed human trafficking. They also talk about a few anti-trafficking movies they like, and talk briefly about some other TV shows and movies that have covered the topic. Sources: A...


Apple and Foxconn in China

Seth and JJ look into the labor and safety concerns at the factories of Apple's primary supplier, Foxconn, in China. After giving a high-level view of Apple and Foxconn, they dive into their problems with Excessive Overtime, Suicides, Low Wages, Illegal Student Labor, Riots, Strikes, and Hazardous Environments. While recognizing that Apple puts a lot of effort into their corporate social responsibility efforts, Seth makes the case that Apple can and should do more. Sources: Ground broken on...


Trafficking of Native Americans Today

JJ gives an overview of the trafficking of Native Americans today, and how marginalization and vulnerabilities factor in, with particular focus on sexual violence and sex trafficking. Sources: Human Trafficking (Including Sex Trafficking) of American Indians and Alaska Natives, US Department of Justice Trafficking in Tribal Nations: the impact of sex trafficking on Native Americans, Human Trafficking Search “The Devastating Impact of Human Trafficking of Native Women on Indian Reservations”,...


Canada’s First Nations and Human Trafficking

In part two of our series on indigenous communities and human trafficking, JJ and Seth dive into the reality of historic slavery and current trafficking of First Nations people in Canada. We continue to discuss the eraser of First Nations victims, and the lack of data and public attention. Sources: First Nations People in Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada First Nations, Wikipedia John Evans Study Committee, University of Denver Democratic Individuality, Alan Gilbert Slavery in...


Indigenous Australians and Human Trafficking

What is the experience of indigenous Australians (the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) with human trafficking? Seth and JJ give some historical context, then JJ gives an overview of the types of slavery experienced by indigenous Australians in the past and present, and discusses vulnerabilities of these populations that are sometimes invisible. Sources: Australia's History, Tourism Australia Australia - History, Encyclopedia Britannica Indigenous Australians, Wikipedia...


Frequently Asked Questions About Human Trafficking

Seth and JJ tackle frequently asked questions people have about human trafficking. 1. How is human trafficking different from migrant smuggling? https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/fs/2017/272005.htm https://ctip.defense.gov/Portals/12/Documents/HSTC_Human%20Trafficking%20vs.%20Human%20Smuggling%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf?ver=2016-07-14-145555-320 http://www.globalmigrationgroup.org/theme/migrant-smuggling-and-trafficking-persons 2. Is there a difference between human trafficking and slavery?...


US Border Policy: What’s Different? What’s Legal?

Seth and JJ discuss the recent situation at the US-Mexico border. After discussing how asylum works, they go into the policy changes, which include prosecuting all crossers, separating all children, making asylees apply at a port of entry, and slowing down case management at ports. They look at relevant laws, 8 U.S. Code § 1325 , 1158, 1225, as well as the Flores agreement and question the legal basis of the Trump administration's position. JJ finishes by discussing the 2018 TIP Report's...


And Life Continues with Wendy Barnes

This week, Seth and JJ interview Wendy Barnes—a speaker, trainer, consultant, and author on human trafficking…who also happens to be a survivor of human trafficking. In this weeks interview, Seth and JJ discuss Wendy's amazing book And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom (available on amazon), her life, the services available to trafficking survivors, and what academics and responders can do to better serve survivors and those currently held in bondage. Sources: And...


Of True Crime and Trafficking

With the rise of true crime podcasts, documentaries, and television shows (hey, murderinos!), JJ (who is also crime obsessed) can't help but wonder—why hasn't human trafficking been taken up by the true crime community? This week, Seth and JJ discuss why studying killers can be helpful to those who study trafficking, how the true crime community can help, and the legal differences between trafficking and other crimes like kidnapping. JJ also weirds out Seth with her love of murder. Sources:...


Challenges of Using Software to Fight Human Trafficking

Seth and JJ talk about the challenges of using software to fight human trafficking, most notably on the Internet. Software tools like MEMEX and those produced by Thorn are essential in making connections across many forms of data, but algorithms can only do so much, and false positives and false negatives can occur. Sex and labor trafficking require different software approaches. Software targeting sex traffickers can analyze ads and forum postings across the web. Assessments and audits of...


Backpage.com and FOSTA

President Trump signed FOSTA into law on April 11, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017. Seth and JJ discuss the story of Backpage.com, and how it led to FOSTA being passed. Survivors have advocated for and against the law. While it has potential to be a useful tool against traffickers, there are concerns about how it may negative impact sex workers and free speech, due to ambiguous language and focusing on both sex trafficking and prostitution. Sources:...


Gun Trafficking

Guest Kyleanne Hunter​ of VetsForGunReform joins Seth and JJ to discuss how gun trafficking, drug trafficking, and human trafficking are linked via transnational criminal organizations, cartels, and gangs. They look at how guns are used as currency in illicit markets internationally, which is aided by lax guns law in the US. Lastly, they talk about the challenges of researching and discussing mitigation from a national security perspective. Sources: Kyleanne Hunter​ Kyleanne Hunter, Twitter...


Unaccompanied Alien Children in the TVPA

Seth and JJ explain the UAC law within the TVPA, along with the the challenges faced by the children and the US government in trying to manage the situation. The story of unaccompanied alien children isn't just what happens when they arrive at our border and possibly enter our county. It's what happens when they are turned away. It's about the journey there, and possibly back again. It's what can happen along the way. How we treat children at our borders makes a statement. It can't be just...


The Business of Human Smuggling

Seth and JJ talk about human smuggling as a business operation and explain how human smuggling is different from human trafficking. Who are the people involved in the business of human smuggling? How do people pay for smuggling and how much does it cost? How are people vulnerable in the smuggling process? Seth shares of few of his precarious experiences while transiting to Cambodia. JJ talks about snakeheads in China, including the infamous Sister Ping. Sources: Tinti, Peter and Tuesday...